Feast of St Philip, Zebbug Malta 2012
A spectacle of colour, fireworks and much more!
The feast of St Philip is held in Zebbug, which is one of the oldest towns on the Maltese Islands. It’s quite a large town, with the population standing at around 12,800.
In Maltese, people who are from Zebbug are called Zebbugin. The patron saint of this town is Saint Philip of Agira.
Therefore the parish church is dedicated to this much loved saint.
The feast of St Philip (festa ta' San Filep) here is a very popular event and each year it draws thousands of visitors from all across the island.
St. Philip’s feast is celebrated on the second Sunday of June. So in 2012, the feast is going to be held on the 10th of June.
The town takes its name (Zebbug meaning olives) after the large olive groves that occupied the area where the parish church is today.
In 1777, Grandmaster de Rohan-Polduc bestowed it with the title Citta’ Rohan. An archway was subsequently built at the entrance of this town. You can see this imposing archway to this day.
In the town square you’ll find the parish church. Dedicated to St. Philip, work on this church started in 1599. It has a lot of similarities to Valletta’s St. John’s Co-Cathedral.
The statue of St. Philip is the work of Luigi Fontana. He created it in 1864. The statue is regarded as one of the most exquisite in its genre.
The town is renowned across the Maltese Islands for its impressive festa of St. Philip.
Although most villages and towns in Malta and Gozo have one festa, this town has two! They in fact celebrate another saint here, St. Joseph.
The St. Joseph feast is the secondary one, with the San Filep feast being the main one of the town.
If you like listening to band marches, then you’ll be in heaven in Zebbug because here they have not one or two clubs but three!
All three have their own fireworks factories. St. Philip’s Band Club is said to be the oldest band in Malta, first established in 1851!
De Rohan Band Club was established a few years after in 1860.
About a century later, the town saw the birth of a new band club entitled the 12 May Band Club (est. in 1961).
A cute tradition that is held in Zebbug each year, is the procession with San Filep iz-Zghir.
In this charming short procession, small kids take the role of adults and carry a tiny statue of St. Philip accompanied by brass band marches.
Just like a real festa! Only the statue is small and very light, since it’s made from fibre.
So what’s it like visiting the town of Zebbug during the feast of St Philip?
For starters, make sure that you take your camera with you! During the week of St. Philip’s feast the whole town literally comes alive!
Beautiful, colourful decorations and ornaments adorn the streets. Mesmerizing statues are put on display at the town centre. Even people’s houses are decorated especially for the occasion!
- awe inspiring ground fireworks displays
- brass band marches & concerts synchronized with fireworks
- traditional Maltese festa snacks and sweets
- spectacular air fireworks
- lively procession around the streets of Zebbug with St. Philip’s statue
- much more!
The actual feast day and main procession is held on the 2nd Sunday of June.
But the streets are usually adorned with festive decorations and ornaments a week before that. So there’s plenty to see even when the final preparations for the feast are still underway.
Simply wandering around the decorated narrow streets of the town centre is an unforgettable experience in itself.
The culmination of the feast is of course the St. Philip procession. The procession starts at 6.00pm.
For more information on this festa, contact the Zebbug Parish Office on Tel. No. ++ 356 21 460800 or send them an email at email@example.com.
If you're thinking of going to the feast of St Philip in Zebbug by public transport, have a look at www.arriva.com.mt and check out the journey planner and routes and timetable sections, to determine the best bus number to take, depending on the location that you're departing from.
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