Spreading good luck and happy times, l-Istrina has always been something to look forward to during the holidays. With the word itself deriving from the Latin word ‘strena’, meaning the gift of good luck, a group of people wanted to pass on this good luck to everyone across the island. The day after Christmas is now marked in our calendars as l-Istrina – where Malta’s raises funds for The Malta Community Chest Fund in the form of a national telethon.
Kicking off in 1995 thanks to Peppi Azzopardi and other members of the national broadcasting station, the Istrina has been a part of Maltese Christmas ever since.
With so many talented actors, presenters and prominent Maltese figures having a laugh and spreading the cheer, the fundraising talent show that is Istrina has stuck around until this very day.
The idea was such a huge success that it become an annual event synonymous with Maltese culture!
Getting bigger and better ever since its inception, it doesn’t seem like Istrina is slowing down anytime soon, with a lot of crew, tv personalities and event patients doing their part to aid in the organisation of this event.
L-Istrina was created to raise funds for The Malta Community Chest Fund to allow people to receive the specialised medical treatments they need. The heart of L-Istrina remains the same, with an amazing 26 years of generosity, 26 years of helping patients.
Setting up an event of this magnitude is no joke. With everyone across all of Malta and Gozo tuning in, a whole load of preparations need to be done to ensure the smooth running of the event on the day.
Your Christmas might look like waking up late, unwrapping presents by the tree, and indulging in a family lunch, but these Istrina helpers don’t get a normal festive season.
The day’s itinerary, guests, venue, telephone system, canteen, parking facilities, TV broadcast and setups, together with making sure all clips are as they should be mean an enormous amount of work for everyone involved.
With the fundraiser being a day away, they can’t afford to take Christmas off! But, it’s all worth it when they see just how special this day is. Bringing Maltese people together in solidarity to help the sick, the poor, and the patients receiving treatments off our shores – these hard-workers really do make the dream work.
2021 is l-Istrina’s lucky birthday! With the event turning 26 years old this year, expect some special celebrations to memorise this iconic moment. Televised on all major Maltese TV stations, make sure to join in on the fun starting between noon and midnight.
Each year The Malta Community Chest Fund takes a piece of home to those patients receiving care away from Malta. Most of these patients fear that they’ll be spending the holidays alone in an unknown place, but l-Istrina acts as the perfect homesickness cure.
Tune in on all major TV stations on the 26th!