Malta Boats: A national symbol and a major Malta tourist attraction!
The colourful traditional Malta boats are perhaps one of the cutest attractions on the islands for the Malta tourist.
These eye-catching fishing boats are brightly coloured – usually in red, yellow and blue.
Over the years, they have become so popular with visitors that they have since become a bit of a national symbol.
If you want to catch a glimpse of countless traditional Maltese boats, drop by at Marsaxlokk.
The harbour is always full of these type of boats, raging from the luzzu (double-ended fishing boat), dghajsa (smaller boat) and kajjik (similar to the luzzu but has a square transom).
Nowadays, some of these boats are used to carry tourists between Valletta, Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua.
For many local fishermen (especially in Marsaxlokk), the traditional Maltese boat is a means of living and you can still see them braving the waters on these sometimes tiny boats.
Surprisingly, the luzzu is even more expensive than fibreglass boats.
This is because it requires great skill and precision to build.
It is the local fisherman’s preference, since a luzzu is more stable and more durable than modern boats.
Malta Boats and the Eye of Osiris
On the prow of the boats, you will always see a pair of eyes painted on each side.
These eyes descend from an an ancient Phoenician custom.
They are referred to as the Eye of Osiris or Horus and the Phoenicians believed that the eye protected them against evil.
Tradition says that the eye of Osiris protects the fishing boats from danger and also wards off any evil spirits.
This belief lives on to this day because every Spring you can still see fishermen painting the eye afresh to give them maximum protection!
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