Today is the feast of San Pietru fil-Ktajjen – the St Peter feast so dear to Birżebbuġa feast enthusiasts who had waited to celebrate their patron saint. However, their expectation ended after the executive committee of St Peter’s Philharmonic Society of Birżebbuġa recently cancelled all feast activities due to the increase in Covid-19 cases.
The St Peter’s feast at Birżebbuġa is also characterized by a unique tradition when during the week’s feast, the titular statue of St Peter is transported in a sea display in the Maltese islands.
Asked how the tradition began, speaking with tvm.com.mt the ‘Soċjetà Filarmonika San Pietru Banda Birżebbuġa’, Alexander Caruana said that when the statue was gilded in 1974, it arrived in Birżebbuġa on a boat. Mr Caruana recalled that this gestured filled many Birżebbuġa residents with enthusiasm, and 10 years later, before the Friday band march, the statue started being carried towards St George’s Bay to be transported on a boat to the Pretty Bay. This year, the boat trip was intended to start from the Grand Harbour.
Although the boat trip resumed each year, Birżebbuġa enthusiasts, who traditionally accompany the statue on other boats, will now have to wait for another year to enjoy this unique celebration.