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Victoria en fête for feast of Santa Marija

Victoria celebrates the feast of Santa Marija at the Cathedral Church inside the magnificently restored fortifications of the Citadel on Wednesday. The Triduum started yesterday. This evening, the Leone Band of Victoria and the Beland Band of Żejtun will play marches at 9.30pm, followed by an audiovisual show and a street party in front of the Leone Band Club in Republic Street.

Tomorrow, four bands will participate in the festivities from 9pm. There will be a march from the Cathedral to Independence Square by the St Greogory Band of Kerċem, which will later be joined by the St Lawrence Band of Vittoriosa for a musical programme at Independence Square.

At 10pm, a replica of the statue of Santa Marija venerated at the Cathedral will be carried along the streets of Victoria and later raised on a plinth at Independence Square. The Leone Band and the Santa Marija Band of Żebbuġ will take part.

The statue of Santa Marija will be accompanied aux flambaux

On Tuesday, eve of the feast, the Cathedral Chapter will concelebrate Mass at 8am and intone the Te Deum. There will be Mass for parish children at 10am, followed by the ‘Tal-Bandiera’ march at 11am. Parish children will carry a huge flag from Cathedral Square to the Leone Band Club to be raised on the club’s roof at noon.

The traditional agricultural and industrial show, Il-Wirja Ta’ Santa Marija, will be open at Rundle Gardens between 5pm and 11pm and again on Wednesday between 7am and 1pm. At the show, held during the Santa Marija festivities for the past 280 years, one can admire the best produce of the Gozitan fields, as well as a number of well-kept farm animals. Horses will be on show on Wednesday morning.

The Leone Band will leave Independence Square for the Cathedral in the traditional Paljijiet march on Tuesday at 5.30pm. The paljijiet (flags), to be awarded to the winners of horse races, will be displayed at the Cathedral balcony. In the evening, Gozo Bishop Mario Grech will lead the translation of relic from the Cathedral at 6pm, followed by vespers, with the participation of the orchestra under the baton of maestro di cappella Colin Attard. Archdeacon Tarcisio Camilleri will lead a sung Mass at 7.30pm and archpriest Joseph Sultana will also commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the coronation of the Assumption altarpiece.

In the evening, there will be a grand march along Republic Street with the participation of the Leone Band and the St Sebastian Band of Qormi, followed by a synchronised ground fireworks display at Pjazza Savina.

On Wednesday, feast day, Mgr Grech will lead a pontifical Mass with the Cathedral Chapter. Mgr Grech will confer Ġieħ il-Parroċċa on a parishioner who excelled in voluntary service to the Cathedral.

The Twelfth May Band of Żebbuġ and the St Joseph Band of Għaxaq will play marches along the streets of Victoria from 11am. Horse races in Republic Street will start at 2.30pm. The procession with the statue of Santa Marija, sculpted in Rome in 1897, leaves the Cathedral at 6.30pm, accompanied by the Leone Band.

An aerial firework display by Vampa Organisation starts at 7pm. During the procession, the St Joseph Band of Għajn-sielem will play at Cathedral Square, while the Victory Band of Xagħra will be playing at Independence Square.

The statue of Santa Marija will be accompanied aux flambeaux inside the Citadel for the Cathedral at around 10.30pm.

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