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A greasy pole and gunfire mark St Julian's feast

Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

The traditional ġostra competition, which dates back to the 1800s, was one of the main highlights of the St Julian's feast marked this weekend. 

Spectators lined the beach to watch the ġostra, which sees competitors run up a 65-foot long lard-covered pole.

A wooden pole is placed at an angle and covered in 15 litres of lard with participants aiming to grab the flags placed at the end before their inevitable dive into the sea.

According to the entry requirements, participants have to be residents of St Julian’s and form part of a team of volunteers who help set up decorations for the village feast to be able to take part.

The feast also kept another tradition as hunters lined up on the church rooftop to salute their patron saint by firing into the sky as the statue was taken out of the church.

St Julian was believed to be a hunter while the village was also a hunting area in the time of the knights, when it was still unbuilt.

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