Leave your feedback

Video ID: 1064

Submitting Feedback

A Maltese Christmas Tradition on Christmas Eve


The procession of Baby Jesus is commonly held on Christmas Eve in the quiet streets of Malta and Gozo. In towns and villages that have a Soċjetà tal-MUSEUM, this procession is also held in association with the organisation.

Also known as the demonstration of Baby Jesus, this procession was highly regarded by San Ġorġ Preca (1880-1962). In fact, it was he who started this tradition in December of 1921. Christmas held a special place in San Ġorġ Preca’s heart. However, he had no intention of instituting a procession of this large of a scale. His only intention was to instil the Christian spirit by commemorating the birth of Baby Jesus. However, the procession became so popular that it is still being held to this day.

The statue of baby Jesus in his manger, presented on a white linen cloth, is carried by young children and teens along the dimly lit streets of towns and villages while singing Christmas hymns, generally in Maltese. A popular Maltese Christmas carol is Ninni la Tibkix Iżjed. Some come along carrying lanterns used by altar boys while others carry olive branches during the procession.

Typically, after the procession, which usually makes its stop at the town/village square, the Christmas program goes on with the singing of more Christmas carols and hymns, the Boy’s Sermon (il-Priedka tat-Tifel), more poems and Christmas dialogues and/or re-enactments.

It is also a common tradition to hold a raffle at this event, with the prize being a Christmas traditional crib, while a honey ring (qagħqa tal-għasel) is given to all attendees on their way out, at the end of the evening.

More places from Gwardamanġa

A Maltese Christmas Tradition on Christmas Eve
The procession of Baby Jesus is commonly held on Christmas Eve in the quiet stre...
Remembering the Charlie Chaplin of Malta
Gwardamanġa George Farrugia
This is an excerpt from a comedy series featuring George Farrugia, known as Char...
Celebrating almost 60 years of television in Malta
Gwardamanġa broadcasting in malta
Television in Malta was first introduced in 1957 but the only programmes that co...
Three Maltese acting legends perform together
Gwardamanġa charles thake maltese television
This hilarious footage from the PBS archives shows three of Malta’s best-k...
When Malta went quiet for the nation’s first TV broadcast
Gwardamanġa Charles Arrigo maltese television
At St Luke’s Hospital, patients and nurses watched together, while in Gozo...

Places Nearby

A new lease of life for a Valletta landmark
Valletta, Malta Anton Buttigieg mcc opening 1979
This archive footage shows some of the extensive restoration work carried out in...
Military divers at Tigne Point in 1974
This film shows divers from the Malta Pioneer Corps at Tigne Barracks in 1974. T...
How Tritons’ Fountain became a Malta landmark
Floriana Triton Fountain
For more than six decades, three giant mermen have greeted visitors to Malta’s...
Good Friday celebrations in Malta and Gozo over the years
Valletta, Malta Easter in Malta
Holy Week has always been important in Malta and Gozo. The celebrations before E...
All set for take off? A look back at Malta’s former air terminal
Luqa Dom Mintoff air malta
Malta International Airport is the only airport in Malta and occupies the locati...
How Father Christmas arrived in Malta in the 1960s
Luqa Father Christmas christmas in malta
Christmas is a highly celebrated festivity in Malta and Gozo, both for its relig...
‘Move back please’: Remembering Malta’s vintage buses
Floriana Malta bus
Loved and hated in equal measure, Malta’s vintage buses were a tourist att...
Remembering ‘Malta’s first Saint’ San Gorg Preca
Hamrun dun gorg preca
St George Preca was a Maltese priest and the founder of the Society of Christian...
Malta pays respect at the War Memorial in Floriana
Floriana Franklin D Roosevelt first world war malta
The War Memorial in Floriana commemorates the fallen of both the First World War...
All of Malta’s Presidents from 1974 to today
Attard Agatha Barbara Maltese Heads of State
The office of the President of Malta came into being on 13 December 1974, when M...
Village feasts have been part of Maltese culture for decades
Valletta, Malta Maltese festa Malta festa
Religious feasts or ‘festas’ have been an important part of Maltese ...
Malta’s Regatta has been going since the Middle Ages
Grand Harbour Freedom Day
The Regatta has been held in Malta since the Middle Ages. The first professional...