Rabat imnarja
Leave your feedback
LEAVE YOUR FEEDBACK

Video ID: 997

Submitting Feedback

Looking back at one of Malta’s oldest feasts

Description

The feast of St Peter and St Paul on June 29 marks an important event in the Maltese calendar.

Traditionally known as ‘L-Imnarja’, it is one of the oldest feasts in Malta and Gozo, goes back to before the arrival of the Knights in 1530.

The name ‘L-Imarja’ is a corruption of Italian ‘luminaria’ or illumination. This was the way people celebrated the festival by burning bonfires and candles, and the illumination of the Mdina Cathedral and walls of the old capital city.

On the eve of the feast the scene shifts to Buskett Gardens on the outskirts of Rabat. Here the cries of food and drink vendors mingle with the boisterous crowd. 

By this time animals taking part in the annual agricultural show would have been blessed, with thousands of visitors flocked to watch the festival of animals, vegetables, fruits, poultry, honey and many other exhibits.

Even today, people still make their way to Buskett, where the scene is set for a feast of song and food beneath the trees. 

On the afternoon of June 29, the ‘Imnarja’ festivities reached their climax with the traditional horse and donkey races in Rabat. 

In the 17th and 18th centuries these races consisted of seven events, including races for boys, slaves, men, donkeys, mules, mares and horses. 

The feast of St Peter and St Paul is also celebrated in Nadur, Gozo, this time in the usual festive manner that is normally held in towns and villages.

More places from Rabat

Looking back at one of Malta’s oldest feasts
Rabat imnarja
The feast of St Peter and St Paul on June 29 marks an important event in the Mal...
The history behind Malta’s beloved Chadwick Lakes
Rabat Sir Osbert Chadwick Chadwick Lakes
Chadwick Lakes have long been popular with families who enjoy picnics in the Mal...

Places Nearby

Valletta marks a very special anniversary
Valletta, Malta Archbishop Michael Gonzi valletta anniversary
This colour footage from the archives shows special events in Valletta in 1966 t...
What powers does the President of Malta have?
Valletta, Malta Agatha Barbara
The President of Malta is the island’s head of state. Presidents serve a f...
Carnival capers in Malta over the years
Valletta, Malta carnival in malta
Carnival has been celebrated in Malta for more than 600 years. Historians believ...
Remembering a Maltese radio and TV legend
Charles Arrigo television malta
Charles Arrigo was one of Malta’s best-known broadcasters. His distinctive...
Fascinating footage of life in Malta 100 years ago
Valletta, Malta grand harbour
These fascinating images offer a unique glimpse of life in Malta almost 100 year...
Bikers without crash helmets on Malta’s garigue
Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq motorbike trials in malta
It seems almost unthinkable today. This footage from the PBS Archives shows comp...
Inside Britain’s once top secret weapons facility in Malta
Mosta fort mosta
This rare footage gives us a glimpse inside what was one of Britain’s most...
The Maltese Crib and Pasturi
Many people buy their commercial figurines ready-made for their Maltese Christma...
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...
The history of the ‘Great Wall’ of Malta
Bingemma Queen Victoria Victoria Lines
Malta’s answer to the Great Wall of China, the Victoria Lines are a networ...
The real story behind the Malta riots in 1958
Birgu General Workers Union
The political arguments over the future of Malta degenerated into violence on Sa...
Meet Malta’s best-known ballet dancer
Hamrun Tanya Bayona
Tanya Bayona is perhaps Malta’s best-known ballet dancer. Following her ea...