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Balzan, Malta
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Malta Mnarja

Mnarja, or l-Imnarja, pronounced lim-nar-ya is one of the most important dates on the Maltese cultural calendar. Officially, it is a national festival dedicated to the feast of Saints Peter and St. Paul. In fact its roots can be traced back to the pagan Roman feast of Luminaria, when the early summer night of June 29 was illuminated by torches and bonfires. A national feast since the rule of the Knights, Mnarja is a traditional Maltese festival of food, religion and music. The festivities still commence today with the reading of the "bandu", an official governmental announcement, which has been read on this day in Malta since the 16th century. Originally, Mnarja was celebrated outside St. Paul's Grotto, in the north of Malta; however, by 1613 the focus of the festivities had shifted to the Cathedral of St. Paul, in Mdina, and featured torchlight processions, the firing of 100 petards, horseraces, and races for men, boys and slaves. Modern Mnarja festivals take place in and around the woodlands of Buskett, just outside the town of Rabat.

It is said that under the Knights, this was the one day in the year when the Maltese were allowed to hunt and eat wild rabbit, which was otherwise reserved for the hunting pleasures of the Knights. The close connection between Mnarja and rabbit stew remains strong today. In 1854 British governor William Reid launched an agricultural show at Buskett which is still being held today. The farmers' exhibition is still a seminal part of the Mnarja festivities today.

Mnarja today is one of the few occasions when participants may hear traditional Maltese "għana". Traditionally, grooms would promise to take their newly- or recently-wed brides to Mnarja during the first of year of marriage and, for luck, many of the brides would attend in their full wedding gown and veil, although this custom has long since disappeared from the Islands.


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Malta Travel Destination
Balzan Malta - Marsascala Malta - Salina Malta - Comino Malta - Mdina Malta - Sliema Malta - Floriana Malta
Mellieha Malta - St Julian's Malta - Gozo Malta - Msida Malta - St Paul's Malta- Qawra Malta

Malta Travel Informations and Malta Travel Guide
History of Malta : Ancient Civilizations of Malta - Middle Ages of Malta - Knights of Malta and Napoleon
British rule and World War II - Malta Independence

Etymology of Malta - Malta Geography - Climate of Malta - Malta Politics & Government - Malta Administrative Divisions
Economy of Malta - Money & Banking of Malta - Malta Currency - Population of Malta - Languages of Malta
Religion in Malta - Migration in Malta - Malta Education - Languages in Education
Sports in Malta - Special Activities in Malta - Malta Cuisines
Healthcare in Malta : Hospitals in Malta - Medical Tourism of Malta - Medical Associations

Malta Art & Architecture : Culture of Malta - Weddings in Malta - Malta Traditional Life - Carnival of Malta
Fantastic Creatures - Malta Mnarja - Holy Week of Malta - Malta Music - Literature of Malta

Transportation & Infrastructure : Malta Highways - Malta Buses - Malta Railway - New public transport network
Ports & Harbours of Malta - Airports & Heliports of Malta

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