‘Like a wedding without a bride’: Tarxien celebrates its feast in a different manner
This weekend should have seen the celebration of the feast that opens the summer festa season, the feast of The Annunciation at Tarxien. The pandemic has spoilt the normal celebrations in the interests of safety precautions and therefore celebrations are of a different nature.
“It is like a wedding without the bride” is what the elderly Tarxien folk used to say when their feast was close to Good Friday and therefore required muted celebrations. When this occurred the church used to be bedecked for the feast and the titular statue used to be covered over and therefore elicited the description of a wedding without the bride.
This description is being echoed this year because although Good Friday passed six weeks ago, the pandemic has caused havoc with the celebrations. However, dedication to The Annunciation remains close to the hearts of the people of Tarxien and the celebrations will be those according to the Health Authorities.
Archpriest Fr Chris Ellul explained the parishioners are placing their hopes and trusts in The Annunciation.
He said that parishioners can still forward their intents, needs and prayers through emails or via the Facebook page. They could also write to the parish office and the sealed envelopes were collected on the Thursday when the titular statue niche was opened and the envelopes placed in the niche. When all is over these will be taken to the Franciscan nuns so they can elicit prayers for the needs expressed.
The Archpriest continued saying that throughout May processions had taken place with the painting of the titular statue being paraded around the streets and the Rosary recited and thus enabling people to remain in their homes and observe from their windows and balconies, or otherwise follow through Facebook.
The social media has also been utilised by the Youth Section of the Għaqda Mużikali Marija Annunzjata Ħal Tarxien as explained by its President, Jason Mizzi.
He said that videos of previous feasts had been collected and shown daily on social media and today, the eve of the feast, the videos posted show ground fireworks displays and aerial fireworks.
The youths have also decorated the streets but in a different manner. Mizzi said groups of five, instead of mounting the normal street decorations, gathered strand of ivy, shaped them and distributed them throughout Tarxien as best possible.
On the eve of The Annunciation feast, Tarxien organisations maintained the tradition and presented flower bouquets in front of the titular statue and the titular painting of the statue.