Special events

Centenary - Maltese Folk Mass

Tuesday 29th March 2005

The Centenary Festivities Commission organised ‘Lejliet San Girgor’ (The eve of St Gregory’s Feast at Zejtun) with a Maltese Folk Mass sung by Mr Frans Baldacchino known as ‘Il-Budaj’ accompanied by two guitarists.

A PowerPoint presentation was given by Architect Norbert Gatt of the Restoration Unit of the Ministry of Infrastructure explaining the work done on the Restoration Project which his Unit has been doing during the last few months and the work planned for the coming months on St Gregory’s Church, Zejtun. The event included  a session of Folk Singing by Frans Badacchino.

Maltese traditional food, such as Qassatat and Bigilla, together with Marsovin sponsored wine were available for those present.

(Images by Frank Marsh - Official Photographer for Centenary Commission) 

St Gregory's Feast

One of the national traditional feasts, though not a public holiday, is the Feast of St Gregory which is held on the first Wednesday after Easter. This consists of a procession by the Cathedral Chapter headed by the Archbishop to the old church of St Catherine at Zejtun, today commonly referred to as St Gregory Church.

The tradition of this procession goes centuries back and the original reason for it is still not sure. Some say that it was a thanks giving pilgrimage when Malta was freed from a serious 'Pest Epidemic'. Others differ on this. But what is sure, is that originally the procession used to leave Imdina Cathedral to St Gregory Church at Zejtun. By time, this procession used to start from Tarxien Parish Church, the nearby Parish to Zejtun. Since about 30 years ago the procession started to come out from St Clement Chapel at Zejtun, which is just over a kilometre away from the Church of St Gregory. On the way the procession enters the Zejtun Parish Church, a small sermon takes place and continues to St Gregory Church.

On arrival a Mass is celebrated by the Chapter's Dean and the Archbishop preside the ceremony. Traditionally, afterwards the general public who attends this feast will go to nearby harbour of Marsaxlokk , where some will take their first swim of the season.

Traditional food stands and fairs are held throughout the day. It used to be an old custom for the new bridegrooms to take their spouses to this feast as part of the marriage agreement.

Centenary Snooker Competition

As part of the Centenary the Festivities Commission will be organising a series of Indoor Sports Activities during April. The first one an Open Snooker Tournament was held on 2nd and 3rd April at the Zejtun Band Club.

The Mayor of Zejtun, Mr Joe Attard and the Arcpriest Fr Eric Overend presented the relevant trophies to the Winner, Runner-up and Joint 3rd. The Secretary of the Centenary Commission was also present during the presentation.

Pool Game Tournament

On 10th April 2005 a Pool Game Tournament will be organised at Zejtun Juventutis Domus as the second event of the Indoor Games initiative. Registrations will open at 0900hrs on the same day. Same prizes as the Snooker Tournament will be presented to the finalists.

Open Darts Tournament

On 17th April 2005, the 3rd and final event of Indoor Games will take place at Beland Band Club. This will be an Open Darts Tournament, which points will contribute to the Malta Darts Championship. The prices will be the same as the other two events and registration will open at 0900hrs on the same day. The Tournament will kick-off at 0930hrs.

Feast Program

  • 29th May - Blessing of the new bell
  • 4th June - Welcome the Statue of St Catherine after restoration
  • 6th June - 'Waslet il-Festa' (Feast is here) Open air entertainment organised by the youths@local of Zejtun
  • 8th June - Pastoral Day visit by the Archbishop. He will be visiting a number of families. 
  • 10th June - Musical Concert by the Zejtun Band Club at the Parish Church
  • 12th June - Concert by the Beland Band and the Zejtun Band at the Church Square in the presence of the statue of St Catherine. Afterwards a new Statue, known as 'tal-Ghaxra'  will be blessed and placed at Gregorio Bonici Square in place of the previous 110 old statue which by time has become beyond economical repair. Soon after there will be a 'Bibita' in front of the Parrochial Centre for the gueests and general public present. This treat will be given by the Zejtun Parish on the Centenary Occassion. 
  • 15th - 17th June - Sermons at the Parish Church and Band marches along the streets of Zejtun
  • 18th June - Feast Eve. Solemn procession from St Gregory's Church to the Parish Church with the Relic of St Catherine. In the evening there will be a joint open air Concert by the two Zejtun bands, Beland Band Club and Zejtun Band Club. Afterwards ground fireworks display.
  • 19th June - Feast Day. Pontifical Mass in the morning. Procession during the evening where the statue of St Catherine is carried shoulder high along some streets of Zejtun.

June Feast Ce;lebrations

For the reports and images for what have happened during the Feast Celebrations last June browse through other sections of the website. Images are in the Slide Shows and Reports are in the Latest News column.

Alla Mieghek

Alla jridna naghmlu esperjenza prattika tal-fatt li Hu l-Missier taghna. Hu jmantnina tul hajjitna kollha. Iridna mimlija b’frott tal-Ispirtu tieghu.

 Feast of St Gregory - Zejtun 30th March 2005 
 Lejliet San Girgor Maltese Folk Mass. Photo by Frank Marsh.