Colors of Summer

Valletta (Continued…)

Written by Szidonia Lorincz

This project follows my quest during the summer of 2017 to grasp the atmosphere of the summer Festa celebrations through various cities. The center of the series are the people, who make this season all so special.

In any festa it’s very important that everyone is equally represented in the religious celebrations as well as everyone being provided with the activities that are suitable for them. Children and grownups can and are encouraged to participate in the procession as musicians or as part of the helpers of the church. This is an opportunity for youngsters to become more settled in the community and for the older generations to deepen their relationship with their respective churches and cities.

As the mass begins curious passers-by peak in the entrance of the church. The lights, the people and the whole atmosphere is inviting and one can easily assume that the whole of the buzz in the city begins in the church and then moves out to the streets.

After the mass, the church helpers get ready for the procession. Everyone is wearing traditional clothes and the excitement in the air is almost tangible.

As the church people get into their position, people on the street line up to watch the colorful and very organized procession. Everyone has their specific place and their specific role in it, that might seem strict at first but for the people participating it’s almost a routine.

The statue of the saint is the most important part of the procession. It is led by the musicians and followed by the church goers, while the people try to record the moment, and even make it part of their social media feed. The event again becomes the meeting place of secular and religious practices.

Eight strong men are needed to carry the heavy statue, the patron saint of the city. This is one of the most important roles in the procession and a lot of coordination is needed in order for the statue to not to fall over.

As the procession arrives to the center the atmosphere becomes lighter, the crowd becomes mixed and the sound of the music is taken over by light-hearted conversation as friends and families start to spot each other in the crowd.