The end of Christmas season in Malta

For us Roman Catholics, the holiday season officially ends today, the Epiphany on the 12th day of Christmas.

The Epiphany falls on January 6th each year, and it marks the biblical adoration of baby Jesus by the Magi, also known as The Three Kings or Wise Men.  In the Gospel we learn that the men – Melchior from Persia, Caspar from Arabia and Balthazar from India – travelled by camels across the desert following a star that led them to were baby Jesus lay.  They presented Him with three symbolic gifts – Gold – symbol of kingship on earth, Frankincense – symbol of divinity and Myrrh – symbol of death.

In Italy, albeit being a Roman Catholic country, La Befana is celebrated on this day.  It’s a long standing tradition where La Befana (a good witch) flies around the world on her broomstick,  going down chimneys and delivery candy and gifts to children who have been good during the year.  For those who were naughty, La Befana leaves a lump of coal.

The story of this good witch started on the night when the Magi asked her for directions to where baby Jesus lay, but she was too busy cleaning her house at the time, so she declined to help them.  Soon afterwards she changed her mind, and set off alone in search of the baby Jesus but was unable to find him.  It is said that she is still flying the world over searching every house and giving gifts to children.

Epiphany here in Malta marks the end of the long and festive holiday season.   So sadly, tomorrow we start to take down our Christmas decorations.
 

//Għalina l-Kattoliċi Rumani, l-istaġun tal-vaganzi jintemm uffiċjalment illum, fl-Epifanija, fit-12 il-jum tal-Milied.

L-Epifanija taħbat fis-6 ta’ Jannar ta’ kull sena, u din timmarka l-adorazzjoni biblika ta’ Ġesù tarbija mill-Maġi, magħrufa wkoll bħala it-Tre Re. Fl-Evanġelju nitgħallmu li l-irġiel – Melchior minn Persja, Caspar mill-Arabja u Balthazar mill-Indja – qasmu d-deżert fuq l-iġmla  iggwidati minn stilla li wasslithom sal-maxtura fejn kien jinsab il-Bambin  Ġesù. Huma ippreżentawlu tliet rigali simbolici – Deheb – simbolu ta’ renju fuq l-art, Inċens – simbolu ta’ divinita’ u Mirra – simbolu ta’ mewt.

Fl-Italja, għalkemm huwa pajjiż Kattoliku wkoll, La Befana tigi ċċelebrata f’din il-ġurnata. Hija tradizzjoni antika fejn ta’ kull sena La Befana (saħħara twajba) tivjaġġa madwar id-dinja fuq l-ixkupa tagħha, tinżel miċ- ċmieni u tqassam ħelu u rigali lit-tfal li kienu bravi matul is-sena. Għal dawk li kienu imqarbin, La Befana ma tħalli xejn għajr ftit faħam.

Jintqal li l-istorja ta’ din is-saħħara twajba bdiet dak il-lejl meta l-Maġi staqsewha għad-direzzjonijiet ta’ fejn kien jinsab Ġesù tarbija, iżda hija kienet wisq imħabbta bit-tindif tad-dar tagħha u rrifjutat li tgħinhom u tmur magħhom.  Iżda ftit wara hi bidlet il-ħsieb u telqet waħedha tfittex lill-Bambin Ġesù, iżda ma sabitux.  Huwa mifhum li għada sal-lum il-ġurnata ittir madwar id-dinja tfittex f’kull dar u tqassam rigali lit-tfal.

L-Epifanija hawn Malta timmarka t-tmiem tal-istaġun twil tal-festi.  Allura sfortunatament, għada jkollna nibdew inżarmaw id-dekorazzjonijiet tal-Milied.    

 

xx Ruth xx
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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2 thoughts on “The end of Christmas season in Malta

  1. Coco Cami says:

    Lovely photographs! I love your blog and I have followed you with Bloglovin. If you ever get a chance to check out my blog I would be delighted, thanks! Camille xowww.cococami.blogspot.co.uk

    Like

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