FOOD AND BEVERAGES
Truly engaging experiences bring into play all senses. It is no surprise thereby that the Festive Season is characterised by an extravaganza of mouth-watering dishes and sumptuous confections. More significantly, most geographic regions, including the tiny Islands of Malta and Gozo, crafted their own culinary tradition to celebrate in style Christmas and the birth of the New Year.
THE DEMONSTRATION OF BABY JESUS
The Society of Christian Doctrine, popularly known as MUSEUM, is synonymous with Christmas. Besides wearing a small badge carrying the words ‘Verbum Dei caro factum est’, meaning ‘the word of God was made flesh’, its members promote the devotion of this fundamental belief through the distribution of cribs and nativity scenes, and by organising the traditional procession or demonstration of Baby Jesus on Christmas eve.
At the centre of the multifaceted Christmas traditions is the diorama of the humble birth of Our Lord, the crib. Besides the innate charm of the subject matter, cribs are particularly interesting because of the differing regional characteristics. The universal narrative is commonly given a local touch. The Maltese Islands are no exception as highlighted by the rendering of the landscape, the inclusion of landmark buildings like windmills, and the dressing up of the figurines (except for the nativity set and the 3 Kings) with traditional peasant costumes.
The festive mood inspired by the commemoration of the humble birth of Jesus fills the air. Besides dressing up our homes, streets and public spaces with hundreds of kilometres of spectacular lights, exquisite decorations and charming scenes of the nativity, a marathon of social and family gatherings kicks in. These greetings exchange events are unvaryingly characterised by joyful melodies and loads of traditional savouries and sweet delicacies.
Christmas is a period of joy and bliss. People of all ages and from all walks of life suspend momentarily the daily routine and come together to cherish the greatest gift of all, the miracle of life. Significantly, this deep-rooted Christian festivity replaced a much older feast in honour of the sun, the brightest star and leading source of energy for all living organisms on mother earth.