Festa San Martin 2016 to­day

Malta Independent - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE -

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

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