Spotlight on Sliema’s Stella Maris Feast in August
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Celebrate the Stella Maris Feast during your summer holiday to Malta!
There are as many churches in Malta as there are days in the year. Yes, you read that correctly – there are 365 churches on the island! It stands to reason, therefore, that religion in Malta plays a central role in the daily life of many locals.
If you’re visiting Malta during the summer months, your trip will definitely coincide with one of the village feasts taking place in each and every locality. One of the most prominent feasts being celebrated in August is the Stella Maris feast, which is also known as the Feast of Our Lady Star of the Sea.
The Stella Maris parish church is a 16th century chapel located right around the corner from our properties in Sliema. So, if you’re staying in Sliema this August, join in the celebrations of this popular feast in Malta!
See Malta’s village feast decorations
The Stella Maris feast in Sliema takes place on 18 August, but the build-up to the celebration starts long before. The town’s residents volunteer to help in the preparations for the feast by dressing up the streets with traditional decorations and lighting. But the main attraction is the Stella Maris church itself, which will be lit up at night-time.
Like other Malta village feasts, the Stella Maris feast is one of the most visual cultural events to take place on the island. For one whole week, the Sliema streets and houses will be adorned with banners and flags representing the Stella Maris parish church.
Keep an ear out for the Maltese ‘banda’
The local band club also begins its preparations ahead of the Stella Maris feast. During the week-long celebrations, the brass band marches through the brightly-lit streets, followed by crowds of people enjoying the music and atmosphere. If you’re staying at AX The Victoria Hotel, you’ll definitely be able to see the band from your room overlooking the city.
On the feast day itself, volunteers from the parish will together carry a large, elaborate statue of their patron saint on their shoulders through the streets, while crowds throw confetti from their balconies and rooftops.
Watch a spectacular Maltese fireworks display
What would a Maltese village feast be without a magnificent fireworks display? Malta’s firework tradition is perhaps the main highlight of the local feast, as the dedicated firework makers work all year round to produce the most extravagant display of fireworks for their parish.
There aren’t words to describe the stunning results of these ‘artists of the sky’ – you will just have to experience it for yourself! You can get a panoramic view of the fireworks while enjoying a fusion of Asian cuisine at TemptAsian Rooftop Restaurant, situated on the 9th floor of AX The Palace, AX The Victoria Hotel’s 5-star sister accommodation.
Try traditional Maltese sweets
When visiting the Stella Maris feast, make sure to take your pick of the traditional Maltese sweets that are sold from food stalls lining the streets. ‘Imqaret’ – deep-fried date cakes – are a traditional delicacy that will have you asking for more. You might also want to bring some extra euros with you to buy extra artisanal ‘qubbajt’ (nougat) to take home with you.