In the heart of winter on the beautiful island of Malta, a unique celebration warms the hearts of locals and visitors alike: the Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck. Held on 10th Feburary every year, it's a vibrant display of Malta's rich history and deep-rooted Christian traditions, commemorating an event immortalised in the Acts of the Apostles almost 2,000 years ago. Keep reading to find out more about the festivities.
A Tale of Resilience and Kindness
In 60 AD, St. Paul’s shipwreck on Malta’s shores marked a defining moment in the island's history. The Maltese people welcomed the shipwrecked passengers with kindness, lighting fires to welcome them to the island. This historical tale, captured in the Acts of the Apostles, is seen as a symbol of Malta's enduring Christian identity.
Today, celebrating this festival each year remains a cherished tradition that instills pride in the island's religious heritage. The arrival of St. Paul symbolises the introduction of Christianity to Malta, with the island holding the distinction of being one of the earliest Roman colonies to embrace the faith. And, as the first major feast day of the year, the Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck unites the people of Malta in celebratory spirit.
Activities and Festivities
The heart of the celebrations is the Collegiate Parish Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck, a historic church in Valletta that dates back to 1570 AD. Masses are held throughout the day, attracting locals and tourists alike. In the afternoon, a lively procession featuring a statue of St. Paul winds its way through the streets of Valletta, accompanied by music, confetti, and the joyous cheers of onlookers. This festive atmosphere sets the stage for the upcoming Carnival, just three days away.
A Celebration of Togetherness
The Feast of St. Paul isn’t just about history and religion – it's about embracing the unique blend of resilience and warmth that characterises the Maltese spirit. People come together not just to honour the past, but to strengthen the bonds that unite them in the present. This annual spectacle on the shores of the Mediterranean offers a captivating experience and a celebration that echoes through time, bringing people together in the shared joy of tradition.
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