Malta’s Villa Bologna Pottery officially opens London outlet

Maltese pottery store Villa Bologna Pottery officially launched its outlet in London on Tuesday. Located at the elegant Portland Road, Villa Bologna Pottery is in one of the most picturesque areas in West London.

Villa Bologna has been producing iconic handcrafted ceramics since 1924, with its store in Attard emerging as a favourite for several local and foreign customers.

The Attard facility was destroyed during World War Two, yet it was then relocated to the old stables at the de Trafford family’s Villa Bologna, where it is still found to this day.

Villa Bologna Pottery focuses on classical pieces that are based on styles from the 1950s and 1960s, while also working on some more modern designs with international designers.

Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/malta-s-villa-bologna-pottery-officially-opens-london-outlet
8 of Malta’s stunning wayside chapels

The Maltese Islands really do have the grandest of churches – we have one for nearly ever day of the year! But often, it’s in the simplest of chapels that we can find tranquillity and peace (not to mention some of the islands’ most spectacular countryside views). Here are 8 of Malta’s prettiest wayside chapels.

1. Chapel of St John the Evangelist, Ħal Millieri, Żurrieq
This chapel is located in the now uninhabited area in Żurrieq known as Ħal Millieri. The chapel was built around 1481 but became quite dilapidated over time, which meant it had to be deconsecrated. The chapel was later reconsecrated and was eventually enlarged in 1961.

2. St Paul the Hermit, Wied il-Għasel, Mosta
Located in a cave in Wied il-Għasel (Valley of Honey), this chapel has legends surrounding its origins and is mentioned in the first history book of Malta written by Gian Frangisk Abela in 1647. By time, the chapel was abandoned due to the challenging paths to get to it.

3. St Mary’s Chapel, Marsa
St Mary’s Chapel, commonly known as Ta’ Ċeppuna, is said to be a spectacular relic of Malta’s late medieval past, and honestly, it’s just that. This gem in the south of Malta dates back to the late 15th century and was used for divine service until World War II, when it suffered extensive damages due to various air raids.

4. St Mary Magdalene Chapel, Dingli
This Roman Catholic chapel is found in the limits of Dingli, overlooking the mighty Dingli Cliffs and, naturally, boasting impeccable views. Commonly known as il-kappella tal-irdum (chapel of the cliffs), this wayside chapel was built in 1646 on the site of an earlier 15th-century chapel.

5. San Pawl tal-Qlejja, Mosta
This wayside chapel is located in the Valley called Qlejgħa or Qlejja, hence the name. It is dedicated to the Shipwreck of St Paul and dates back to 1690. The current chapel stands on the site of an older chapel that was demolished.

6. Madliena Chapel, Swieqi
The Madliena chapel was once the centre of the community in the hamlet of Madliena, but was abandoned for years on end. Two years ago though, the chapel was restored, and mass is currently celebrated every Sunday for locals in the vicinity.

7. Sanctuary of the Nativity of the Our Lady, Mellieħa
It has been said that Saint Luke painted the figure of Our Lady on the bare rock face of a natural cave in Mellieħa. Well, many locals and visitors alike believe this story, with various pilgrims coming from all over the world to visit the shrine!

8. Wied Għammieq Chapel, Kalkara
Wied Għammieq Chapel is one of the more recent ones, having been built in the 19th century. The surrounding cemetery became the resting place for hundreds who died during the cholera epidemic in 1837. Some believe that the area of Wied Għammieq may very well be haunted as tragedy struck in the 70s when two brothers, two girls, and a construction worker lost their lives on separate occasions!

Article credits: https://www.guidememalta.com/en/8-of-malta-s-stunning-wayside-chapels-then-and-now
Easter Sunday In Malta 2022

Easter Sunday Processions Are As Popular As Those Of Good Friday. Easter Sunday in Malta commemorates the Resurrection of Christ reminding us that he rose from death. It is the most important feast in the Roman Catholic church calendar.

The ringing of the Church bells both in Malta and Gozo and the processions with the statue of l-Irxoxt, the Risen Christ brings back many customs that the Maltese have had for centuries. This tradition is repeated every year in a number of villages in Malta and Gozo.

For instance at Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, where a group of men run the last stretch of roads with the statue and people throw confetti from the windows to celebrate.

There are villages where the parish priest blesses the children’s figolli on Sunday morning. You will surely see many children gathering for this blessing in front of the church.

On this day many people enjoy eating the traditional figolli including a variety of Easter eggs. With regards to the figolli, today they can be bought from many confectioneries but there are still many families who prefer to buy their own ingredients and cook them for their families.

Figolli are usually baked before Easter, different sizes and shapes are done with almond paste in between, covered in chocolate or coloured icing and decorated with little Easter eggs.

Large crowds gather to see the l-Irxoxt procession as it’s one of the traditional feast people look forward to see. Children with figolli in their hands. Different shapes and sizes get to eat the delicious Easter eggs and figolli.

During the processions the band clubs, will now also accompany this procession playing joyful and happy mood marches compared to the Good Friday sombre marches.

After the morning procession people either go out for lunch or spend time with their families and have a lovely Easter meal. The traditional lamb, vegetables and potatoes are generally cooked.

Malta offers various sites and beautiful villages to see and knowing that during Easter there is so much to see and do even if you are not religious.

You will have numerous ceremonies at church, impressive processions and decorations to fill up your time. The Maltese people through their faith and devotion and all the traditions that they have inherited from their ancestors can offer you an incredible holiday.

You can savour our traditional food, sweets and lovely warm weather for the time of the year. The evening tends still to be a bit chilly but knowing that there is so much to absurd and enjoy why not see what Malta has to offer around Easter.

Easter Sunday in Malta and all the Holy Week activities are a great time to have a taste of the Maltese culture.

Easter Sunday Processions In Malta 

Easter Sunday Processions Gozo

 

Article credits: https://www.maltainfoguide.com/
The traditional Regatta

The Regatta is a Traditional Rowing Event that has been held in Malta since the middle ages. The first professional Rowing Challenge started in 1955.

The traditional Regatta races are national events held twice yearly, that on the 31st of March on Freedom Day to commemorate the withdrawal of the British troops and the Royal Navy from Malta in 1979, and 8th September known as Victory Day. The latter has several roots as it marks the end of the Great Siege of Malta in 1565 and the end of French occupation on Malta in 1800, as well as the armistice of the Fascist regime in Italy in 1943, which saw the close of the Italian bombardment of the Maltese Islands.

The programme offers four to five hours of spectacle, with the best crews forming part of the rowing teams from the cities bordering the Grand Harbour. Cospicua, Kalkara, Marsa, Marsamxett (Valletta), Senglea, Vittoriosa and also Birzebbuga, participate in 10 races under two different categories using typical traditional Maltese boats like the ‘frejgatini’, ‘kajjikki’ and ‘dghajjes tal-pass and tal-midalji’. These boats were traditionally normal working watercraft which plied the local harbour.
Over the years these boats have evolved into racing craft with certain modifications. These are also examined and weighed before the start of and end of the races. The first three placings in each race are awarded a number of points and at the end of the Regatta, the club with the highest number of points, in the respective categories, is presented with the Aggregrate Shield.

In the past small flags in different colours were tied to the forestems of racing boats for purposes of recognition. The colours were allotted by the Collector of Customs. Colours have changed considerably over the years. Today the clubs can be recognised by their traditional colours which include Birzebbuga (Red-White-Blue), Cospicua (Light Blue), Kalkara (Green), Marsa (Red-Blue), Marsamxett (Valletta) (Yellow), Senglea (Red-Yellow), and Vittoriosa (Red).

The 1,040 metre race course is set up in the Valletta Grand Harbour where the magnificent Fort St Angelo provides an imposing backdrop to the sleek and colourful Maltese boats. A good crowd of spectators and supporters converge along the waterfront and the surrounding bastions to watch the races, which is sure to be a colourful and spectacular event worth watching. The races can be viewed from the water edge of the three cities (Birgu, Cospicua, and Senglea) or Valletta.

The local village festa

There is no better way to mingle with the locals than at the Maltese village festa (or feast). The Maltese love their patron saints and the village festas, being primarily a religious celebration, are held in their honour every year.

Each village celebrates a different patron saint or two depending on the number of churches in the locality. Each church is dedicated to a different saint. For this reason, some villages celebrate more than one festa per year.

Organised by the village band clubs and the parish members , the village festa is an event that all stakeholders work throughout the year to put together.

The competition between the band clubs can be quite fierce when it comes to the organisation of decorations and the fireworks shows, even if there is only one festa in the village.

It gets even tougher when the locality celebrates two different patron saints, each honoured by an individual band club.

The festas are held over the summer months. This is a time of great merriment for the local community coupled with a lot of traditions and customs and things can get really noisy and loud 😊

View festa calendar : https://www.visitmalta.com/en/village-festas

The Famous Maltese Ġbejna

Ġbejna (plural ġbejniet) are cheeselets made in the Maltese Islands from goat’s or sheep’s milk. They are prepared and served in a variety of forms: pickled, salted, peppered, covered in herbs, dried or plain, fresh cheeselets.

Legend has it that sea water was used as a curdling agent for these cheeselets. The ġbejna is a key ingredient in Maltese dishes varying from soups, to sandwiches, as an appetizer, as a condiment and sometimes even in sweets.

Prior to Malta’s accession to the EU, the EU accepted Malta’s request to protect the traditional ġbejna as a traditional sole product of the Maltese Islands!

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