Spring is the season when Gozo discloses its full beauty. The island awakens to rolling hills of burgundy and gold, as patches of clover and haystacks adorn the countryside. This is the ideal time to visit Gozo and enjoy walks and the coast which Edward Lear (1812 – 1888) the jovial writer of nonsense verse and migratory landscape painter, in his letter to Lady Waldergrave in 1866, described as Ponmskizillious and Gromphibberous: “Did I tell you of my visit to Oudesh, vulgarly called Gozo? It was a most pleasant one and with the aid of Giorgio (his man-servant) I drew every bit of it, walking fifteen or twenty miles a day – Its coast scenery may truly be called Pomskizillious and Gromphibberous, being as no other words can describe its magnificence.”
Nearly deserted beaches at this time of year can provide the ideal hideout to relax and enjoy the lushious sun and warm weather. The water may be still cold for a dip but the unique seaside environment is unbeatable for a picnic, while the weather is still mild and the temperatures around a bearable 25 degrees celcius. As for the most adventurous, Gozo can provide the ideal ground for some climbing along some exciting routes. Spring is also about Easter, as the religious festivities connected with the Holy Week take place during this season. Live re-enactments portraying the passion of the Christ take place all around Gozo, with exhibitions highlighting the original passover including the last supper of the Christ, mixed with a touch of local traditions and folklore. Private collectors exhibit also their figurines portraying the passion and resurrection of the Christ, a skill and an art in most cases, that can be appreciated by visitors as they meander in villages. These are the days of religious rites, when churches are dressed down and are in sombre mood, spiritual places filled with the smell of incense and with the intensity of remembrance. The highlights of these festivities centre around the Good Friday processions held in Victoria, Xagħra, Nadur, Qala and Żebbuġ. These processions are generally accompanied by local people dressed as biblical characters, or with penitents carrying chains and crosses. A sense of anticipation creeps in as people around the island eagerly await Saturday night to attend to the Easter vigil which is celebrated in all the churches around Gozo. Easter Sunday is a true celebration. The joyful peeling of bells and band marches accompany a number of processions with the risen Christ, as people share the traditional figolli which they would have prepared days before.
Spring is also about music, with the full calendar of the Gaulitana Music Festival, an established event for music and culture lovers. The festival features a series of concerts set against the backdrop of a number of beautiful locations around Gozo, including chapels and churches. These include international and local performers – whether orchestras, choirs, chamber ensembles, and soloists – who present a diversity of music styles under the expert direction of Maestro Colin Attard. In 2014 the Festival ended in grand style with the staging of Puccini’s opera Tosca, in 2015 Verdi’s Rigoletto. It is really a feast of the senses for all music lovers!
For so many reasons, Spring is indeed the time to visit Gozo.
Click on the publication below to view the cultural events happening in Gozo during spring 2019.