The Holy Week is a time of great religious significance for Catholics around the world, and the Maltese Islands are no exception. This week-long period leading up to Easter Sunday is marked by a series of events and activities that are meant to commemorate the final days of Jesus Christ’s life.
One of the most popular traditions during the Holy Week in Malta is the Seven Visits. This involves visiting seven different churches or chapels on Maundy Thursday, which is the day before Good Friday. Many people take part in this tradition as a way of reflecting on the events that led up to Christ’s crucifixion and death.
Another popular activity during Holy Week is the performance of dramas and other theatrical productions. These are often held in localities throughout the islands and depict scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. Many of these productions are highly anticipated events and draw large crowds of locals and tourists alike.
However, perhaps the most well-known tradition during the Holy Week in Malta is the pilgrimage to the Laferla Cross, also known as is-Salib tal-Gholja. This is a large cross that stands atop a hill overlooking the village of Siggiewi. On Maundy Thursday, hundreds of Catholic pilgrims make the annual walk up the hill in prayer. The journey is often a difficult one, with steep inclines and rough terrain, but for many, it is a way of expressing their faith and devotion.
Along the way, thousands of candles and traditional torches are lit to guide the pilgrims along the winding footpath leading to the High Cross. The sight of the flickering flames against the dark night sky is a powerful symbol of hope and faith for those making the journey.
Finally, the culmination of everything during the Holy Week in Malta is reached on Easter Sunday. This is the biggest holiday in the Catholic Church and is celebrated in many Maltese localities with the procession of the resurrection. This event involves the carrying of a statue of the Risen Christ through the streets, accompanied by music and other festive celebrations.
Overall, the Holy Week in Malta is a time of great importance for Catholics, and the many traditions and activities that take place throughout the islands serve as a reminder of the deep spiritual roots that have been embedded in Maltese culture for centuries. Whether it is through the Seven Visits, the pilgrimage to the Laferla Cross, or the procession of the resurrection, the Holy Week provides a powerful opportunity for locals and visitors alike to connect with their faith and celebrate the miracle of Easter.
Photo Credit: Luca Palazzo