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Where de Valette met Baby Jesus

A static crib created by the St Andrew's Band Club of Luqa brings Malta to the nativity

The Maltese-themed crib is set among various popular Valletta landmarks. Photos: Matthew Mirabelli

The Maltese-themed crib is set among various popular Valletta landmarks. Photos: Matthew Mirabelli

Grandmaster Jean de Valette would probably have never thought that his oeuvre majeure could be the setting of a Nativity Scene. Yet not only does Valletta and some of its famous landmarks act as a backdrop to a crib, but the grandmaster himself features in it.

A figurine of de Valette  occupies a commanding place in a static crib at the Parliament building set up by St Andrew’s Band Club of Luqa.

Based on the theme Malta fil-Presepju (Malta in the crib), the crib includes replicas of important monuments of the bastioned city, including the Auberge de Castille, Our Lady of Victories church and the Old Royal Opera House, and pasturi (figurines) wearing traditional Maltese costumes, including the għonnella.

 There are sheep herders, the kebbies tal-fanali (lamplighter) and musicians playing the tambur (tambourine) and żafżafa (friction drum). The Nativity Scene is a reproduction of a painting by Giuseppe Calì found at Luqa parish church and is set in a particular house, partly demolished during World War II.

The figure of Maltese saint San Ġorġ Preca, who was born in Valletta, also features prominently in the crib.

The band club is hosting another static crib based on the same theme at its premises in Luqa, highlighting typical Maltese landscapes and houses, and featuring figurines by artist Jesmond Micallef.

One can visit both cribs until January 6.

The Valletta crib is open daily from 9am to 8pm, while the one at the St Andrew’s Band Club in Luqa is open from 5.30 to 8.30pm between Monday and Friday and between 10am and noon and 5 to 8.30pm on weekends and public holidays.

For more information and details, visit the Facebook page Malta fil-Presepju.

This initiative is endorsed by the Valletta 2018 Foundation.

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