The Feast of the Assumption, known as the feast of ‘Santa Maria’ is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and recognises that the Blessed Virgin Mary ascended into Heaven with her body and soul. This popular Maltese ‘festa’ is the peak of the summer religious village feasts and takes place every year on the 15th of August. All the locals look forward to this feast as it is intimately linked with Malta’s folklore and history. The feast is celebrated in 7 towns around the islands of Malta and Gozo and festivities usually occur between the 13th and 17th of August. You can experience these unique events in one or more of the following towns: Ghaxaq, Gudja, Mosta, Mqabba, Qrendi and Attard in Malta, and Victoria in Gozo. The village streets in these towns are brightly decorated with colourful flags, festive pelmets, balloons and banners. Churches are festooned with decorations and illuminated with thousands of light bulbs. On the day of the Statue of the Virgin Mary is taken round these village streets in a procession accompanied by brass bands, multi-coloured fireworks and the peeling of church bells and cheers from the crowds. It is also tradition on this day, which is also a Public Holiday, for many Maltese to go and celebrate on the island of Gozo for a couple of days. Many youngsters in fact flock to the sister island and party the night away in the various clubs or gather together in a traditional farmhouse for BBQ’s and pool parties. These celebrations are surely not to be missed, especially if you are in search of experiencing some true Maltese culture!