Home The Malta Independent Holy Week traditions: Is-Salib tal-G?olja

Holy Week traditions: Is-Salib tal-G?olja

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This weekend will see thousands of candles and traditional torches lit along the winding footpath leading to Salib tal-Gћolja (The Laferla Cross) Siggiewi, as hundreds of Catholic pilgrims make the annual walk up the hill in prayer.

The entire hill is beautifully lit up and known as il-Mixegħla. Il-Mixghela tas-Salib tal-Gholja is organized by the Siggiewi Local Council together with the St Nicholas Band Club (it is also sponsored by the Parliamentary Secretariat for Local Government and MTA) and will once again be organized on Maundy Thursday (29 March 2018).

This tradition has been taking place for over 20 years on Maundy Thursday and every year attracts a growing number of people. Last year, apart from the highest number of participants to date, the event also saw a record number of flares (fjakkoli) being used. The parvis of San Nikola Church in Siggiewi village square is also set to host a stunning spectacle of rows of fjakkoli and candles, creating a tranquil and solemn place to pray along side others.

Each year the illumination of the Cross, meets mass crowds of people not only from Siggiewi, but also from other neighboring towns and is rapidly becoming recognized internationally. The walk has gained immense popularity and is also considered a national activity. From Maunday Thursday, the uphill walk to the imposing Cross in Siggiewi, is symbolic of the flagship hard journey which took Jesus Christ, on his way to the top of Golgotha. Transport will also be offered to those who wish to participate but cannot make the pilgrimage on foot.

Other local organizations in Siġġiewi such as Grupp tal-Armar 6 ta’ Diċembru and Għaqda tan-Nar San Nikola, Siġġiewi, will organize additional events in Siggiewi on Maundy Thursday. Grupp tal- Armar 6 ta’ Dicembru, will be responsible for the lighting up the Siggiewi square with fire torches and will organise two exhibitions in the main square; one featuring the Last Supper and the other including various minute statues representing the passion of Jesus Christ. Gћaqda tan-Nar San Nikola, Siġġiewi, will also organize an exhibition close to the footpath of is-Salib tal-Gholja. The impressive Siggiewi Parish Church will be open until midnight for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on the decorated altar.

The Mayor of Siġġiewi, Alessia Zammit Psaila stated that it is an activity that attracts large crowds of people to Siggiewi because the high Cross offers a beautiful environment and is well adapted to the significance of Holy Week. Alessia Zammit Psaila also emphasized that the Local Council is committed to continue to give contribution to the organization of this activity, which over the years has brought together an array of local unions. She also noted that the Local Council is once again appealing to local authorities to invest further in the Salib tal-Gћolja area – mainly in the restoration of the historic Annunciation Chapel and the area close by.

This year there will also be reenactments, and processions from the church square of Siġġiewi, as well as local bands and is set to be a spectacular event in Malta’s Holy Week calendar.

Original article found on The Malta Independent

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