Festa San Martin 2016 today
As per tradition, on the second weekend of November the people of Baħrija celebrate the feast of St Martin of Tours with a big fair that attracts people from all over the island: Il-Fiera ta’ San Martin − as it is known in Maltese is a traditional fair dating back at least a hundred years, where Maltese used to visit the small village of Baħrija to play games and win a lamb or a rabbit.
This year, Il-Fiera ta’ San Martin is being held today, Sunday 13 November, on the Bahrija Church grounds surrounding the church from 9am till 5pm.
The old custom of betting for live animals is no longer considered legal or ethical so the traditional fair that was once synonymous with the live animal fair has now evolved into a feast of agriculture, tradition and entertainment for all the family.
This year the organisers of the Feast of St Martin have moved the traditional fair to the church grounds. This means that the fair can be better organised and better managed for the enjoyment of all visitors, Maltese and tourists.
This year the feast of St Martin will be a celebration of good food. There will be dishes and treats that can be enjoyed on site together with a glass of local wine and also take home food that can be enjoyed in the weeks and months ahead.
The main attractions are St Martin live at 11.30am with the young St Martin of Tours, dressed in full Roman General costume, who will be carried through the church grounds. At 3.30pm the older St Martin of Tours dressed as a bishop of Tours, will once again be carried through the crowd. There will be opportunities for photographs and two national records, one for the largest borża ta’ San Martin expected to weigh more than 500kgs and the highest flying kite. A professional judge shall measure the competing kites and award the record if achieved. A great fair with loads of prices to be won, including household goods, alcohol, hampers, and vouchers for lamb, rabbit, turkey and meat; a rabbit show hosted by the Malta Rabbit Club; a Fancy Poultry competition and show; the live roasting of chestnut on the traditional firewood stove; various stalls of Maltese artisans selling local produce: olive oil, ġbejniet, honey and jam; traditional Maltese food and wine including roast pig. Pony rides, a bouncing castle, trampoline and merry go round will be some of the highlights for children.
There will also be a coffee area where one can taste Maltese coffee, the unique Torta ta’ San Martin, Kejk ta’ San Martin, qagħaq tal-għasel and selection of other homemade sweets.
A park and ride service is being provided for those who would like to park their cars outside Baħrija. Drivers will be able to park their cars along the street to Baħrija, from the area known as tal-Fiddien. Parking is allowed on the left side of the road going into Baħrija. The Park and Ride service will be provided free of charge.
For more information visit www.festa-san-martin-bahrija.com