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

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...
‘It was terrible’: How Malta survived the war
Valletta, Malta archive footage malta war
This extraordinary archive footage shows how people in Malta struggled during th...
Behind the scenes with the military in Malta
Luqa British Army in Malta
Malta was one of Britain’s most important military bases during the darkes...
Malta pays tribute to Sir Winston Churchill
Valletta, Malta churchill in malta churchill death
This archive footage shows how Malta mourned the death of Sir Winston Churchill....
Remembering a Maltese radio and TV legend
Charles Arrigo television malta
Charles Arrigo was one of Malta’s best-known broadcasters. His distinctive...
Malta’s love of Christmas cribs down the years
christmas
Early 20th century Europe was defined by war and financial ruin but, every year,...
A look inside Valletta’s most magnificent building
Valletta, Malta Governor's Palace
Valletta’s most magnificent building dominates the heart of our capital ci...
Some of the worst storms to ever hit Malta
Birkirkara stormy weather malta
Malta is famous around the world for its glorious sunny weather. Holiday compani...
A look back at Malta’s postal service in the 1970s
Malta
This fascinating film from our archives showcases the work of the Malta Post Off...
Restoring one of Malta’s iconic wartime Spitfires
malta at war
The Spitfire is easily the most famous plane of the Second World War. Its ground...
The Duke of Edinburgh’s close ties to Malta
Valletta, Malta Dom Mintoff Royal Malta
The Duke of Edinburgh is certainly no stranger to Malta. Prince Philip, who mark...
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...