Feast of St. Marija (St. Mary) – 15th August. Includes an agriculture fair at the Villa Rundle which will be held on the 14th and 15th of August. There are also concerts by the Leone brass band, officially called the Leone Philarmonic Society and based in the Aurora Theatre, one of ir-Rabat (Victoria)’s two opera houses-theatres. This is one of two festas in ir-Rabat (Victoria), the other is centred on the Basilica of St George and takes place in July. (Photo by Mario Cachia)
Full festa programme:
Sunday 11 August 2019
9:30pm The Leone Band parades the Santa Marija statue (2008) from the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Grace all the way up to the Leone Band Club in Republic Street. The evening ends as the statue ascends on the monumental plinth to popular marches and ground-fireworks (Catherine Wheels) at midnight
Monday 12 August 2019
9:30pm Popular band march by the Leone Band (Victoria) and Beland Band (Żejtun) departing Savina Square towards St Ursola Street. Reveling youths party all the way through Republic Street. The evening ends with a street party in front of the Leone Band Club with an audio-visual show with fireworks at midnight.
Tuesday 13 August 2019
9:30pm The Leone Band (Victoria) and the Santa Marija Band (Żebbuġ) march along the streets of the historic centre of Victoria as a Santa Marija statue (1956) is carried shoulder high. Meanwhile, St Laurence Band (Birgu, Malta) and St Gregory Band (Kerċem) perform band marches in Republic Street and Independence Square. The evening ends as the statue ascends on the grand plinth to popular marches and spectaculare fireworks at midnight in the city’s main square.
Wednesday 14 August 2019
11:00am Children’s Parade with the grand flag that flies on the Leone Band Club from the Gozo Ċittadella to the Leone Band Club in Republic Street.
5:30pm Band march by the Leone Band from the main square to the Gozo Ċittadella as a spectacle of daylight fireworks is let off from Gelmus Hill.
9:30pm A grand triumphal march by the Leone Band (Victoria) and St Sebastian Band (Qormi) as thousands of revelers party from the Leone Band Club and along Republic Street with traditional and festive chants ending in Sabina Square. Spectacular firework shows open and close the evening after midnight.
Thursday 15 August 2019
Throughout the day, the traditional Santa Marija agricultural fair is open for thousands of visitors at the Villa Rundle public gardens in lower Republic Street.
9:00am Solemn high mass presided by H.E. the Gozo Bishop at the Gozo Cathedral with the participation of choir and orchestra
11:00am Traditional and popular band march in the historic centre of Victoria, starting and departing in the city’s main square. 12th May (Ħaż-Żebbuġ) and St Joseph (Hal-Ghaxaq) bands shall participate.
6:45pm Solemn procession with the Santa Marija statue (1896). The Leone Band performs the much-acclaimed cantata in honour of Our Lady “Per La Festa Di Maria Assunta In Cielo” (1913) in an emotional start of the procession which makes its way through the old streets of the city’s historic centre. Spectacular coloured fireworks are let off during the 4-hour procession during which the Leone Band performs. The Victory Band (Xaghra) and St Joseph Band (Ghajnsielem) play marches and musical programmes in Independence Square and Cathedral Square respectively.
9:00pm The Santa Marija statue is welcomed in lower Palm Street by the Franciscan Nuns who sing a cappella the Salve Regina in Gregorian plainchant from the terraces of their monastery. Thousands of people join to witness the devotional scene of the procession before it starts its way up towards the Gozo Ċittadella.
10:30pm Solemn entrance of the Santa Marija statue inside the Gozo Cathedral with an aux flambaux gathering in the Ċittadella’s main square and access road.
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