Żejt iż-Że­j­tun on 29 and 30 Septem­ber

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Iż-Że­j­tun is pre­par­ing to cel­e­brate the start of the olive pick­ing sea­son. Since the place name “Że­j­tun” means olive and is in­vari­ably as­so­ci­ated with olive tree cul­ti­va­tion in all semitic/arab speak­ing cul­tures, it was only nat­u­ral for the Że­j­tun Lo­cal Coun­cil to com­mem­o­rate the olive press­ing sea­son. Or­gan­ised dur­ing the last week­end of Septem­ber, this year it will be held on the evening of Satur­day 29 and on the morn­ing of Sun­day 30 Septem­ber.

The fo­cal point of the fes­tiv­ity is the blessing of freshly picked olives on the parvis of the parish church and the press­ing of the olives fol­lowed by free tast­ing of crunches of Mal­tese fta­j­jar dressed in freshly pressed vir­gin olive oil. All this oc­curs amid Mal­tese folk mu­sic singing and danc­ing ac­com­pa­ny­ing a de­file of vil­lage folk and farm­ers on carts car­ry­ing the olive har­vest.

Drum­mers and flag bear­ers pro­vide a colour­ful back­ground for sev­eral re-en­act­ments which stretch from the cen­tre of Że­j­tun to the precincts of the old me­dieval parish church, which will be open for the pub­lic as well as folk, singing and danc­ing in the open space of the chapel of St. Mary in the up­per vil­lage and the chapel of Tas-Sal­vatur in the lower vil­lage, which will host per­for­mances of Mal­tese-style Com­me­dia dell’Arte.

Żejt iż-Że­j­tun cel­e­brates in style the re­vival of a ru­ral in­dus­trial ac­tiv­ity highly preva­lent in Malta dur­ing Pu­nic/Ro­man times, long ne­glected and al­most to­tally for­got­ten. Since the late sev­en­ties the new in­ter­est gen­er­ated by a fresh reap­praisal of pure olive oil as an in­trin­sic el­e­ment of the typ­i­cally Mediter­ranean diet con­ducive to a healthy life­style, has re­sulted in great im­pe­tus for olive tree cul­ti­va­tion on a large scale and the pro­duc­tion of olive oil.

Iż-Że­j­tun is proud to be a pro­tag­o­nist in cel­e­brat­ing this re­vived her­itage. The two civic bands of Że­j­tun will par­tic­i­pate and all churches, clubs and places of in­ter­est will be open for vis­i­tors. Dur­ing the evening, or­gan­ist Joseph Caru­ana will give an or­gan recital on the grand or­gan of the parish church. All this make a visit to Że­j­tun dur­ing the evening of Satur­day 29 not only pleas­ant, but also worth­while. On Sun­day morn­ing the fes­ti­val will con­tinue with sev­eral folk ac­tiv­i­ties, band mu­sic a de­file of horses for the an­i­mal blessing and of course olive press­ing.

A park and ride ser­vice will be avail­able on Satur­day from 7pm till mid­night from Bulebel In­dus­trial Es­tate near In­spire. Am­ple park­ing space will be pro­vided in Że­j­tun it­self.

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