29th June is one of the most important dates in the Maltese calendar. The first public holiday of summer, it’s the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, known as L-Imnarja. Families and friends gather on the day to pig out on local delicacies and traditional food. So to recap; summer, food and a day off work. If that isn’t Maltese, we don’t know what is.
Although the Imnarja is technically a feast, it’s completely different from any local festa you might have experienced. Here are some cool events you can attend to properly get the authentic Maltese Imnarja experience.
1. L-Imnarja Summer Folk Festival
What’s a public holiday without festivities starting the day before? This event in Buskett is as traditional as the Imnarja can get, and it actually starts tonight at 6pm.
There will be folk music and vegetable exhibitions. You will gorge yourself on rabbit stew and traditional sweets all day long and you’ll be delighted to know that Projekt Lazarus Malta will also be setting up an Archery section for the public to try along with their traditional Medieval Tavern. Food stalls, local wines and agricultural exhibits will also be present in Malta’s very own mini-forest, Buskett.
Of course, the Summer Folk Festival will also carry on over to tomorrow, right up to noon.
2. More eve celebrations… featuring adorable animals
Celebrations will also be held on the eve of the actual Imnarja — farmers and animal breeders all over the island will meet with gardeners and animal lovers to show off their produce and cute animals in Buskett. People will also be expected to eat too much food and listen to a lot of għana.
There will also be a dog pageant show where people will present their adorable Maltese pups for some friendly competition.
3. The Mdina Race
Later this afternoon, local donkeys and horses will be racing down Mdina. This is a traditional race which the Grand Master used to organise ages ago. A commemorative banner used to be handed out to the winners of these races. This tradition is still held nowadays, where a Palju is given out to the victorious equestrian.
This event will also entail a parade performed by the Dingli Scouts.
4. Visit a traditional farmhouse
The Tal-Għorof Farmhouse at Buskett will be open during both today and tomorrow. The newly restored traditional Maltese farmhouse will be open for visitors and will also be housing an informative exhibition.
Songbird Association and Malta Cage Birds Association will be exhibiting some of their lovely specimen on location.
The farmhouse has two access points which you can understand better over here.
5. Visit the Verdala Palace
Get the chance to visit the Palace grounds today. The Palace winery will be open to the public on both days, so no sweat. The Palace grounds are a beauty we seldom get the chance to visit, and even more so on days bustling with such wondrous activities.
6. Visit the Palace State Rooms for free
If you don’t fancy hanging out at Buskett much tomorrow you have the opportunity to visit the Grand Master’s State Rooms for free.
While there you will also have the chance to visit the Picasso and Miró: The Flesh & the Spirit. Guided tours will be offered between 10.30am and 2pm.