Zejt iz-Zejtun Festival: 24th & 25th September 2011

Celebrating the olive picking & pressing season in Zejtun

Head on down to Zejtun for the annual popular Zejt iz-Zejtun festival for an unforgettable weekend ...

Held in the lovely old town of Zejtun, this interesting family event has now become a much awaited festival by residents of Zejtun (called “Zwieten” in Maltese), the Maltese public in general and also visitors to the islands.

The town’s name means “olive” in Sicilian Arabic. As one might expect from a town with such a name, in the old days the cultivation of olives played an important role in this locality.

Take a sneak peek at what typically happens during this festival with this short video below ...

So what’s this popular Maltese festival about?

The Zejt iz-Zejtun event revolves around the olive picking and pressing season. This year, the festival is going to be held on the 24th and 25th of September 2011.

Zejt iz-Zejtun: Official Programme of Events

Saturday 24th of September

7.30 pm - Announcement of the event with the “Bandu” (meaning proclamation). This practice dates back from the Knights of Malta period, whereby any official announcement or proclamation from the ruling Grandmaster used to be read and announced in this way.

Following the proclamation, a parade with local villagers and farmers proudly carrying their olive harvest will then walk in the main streets of Zejtun.

What else can you see and experience on Saturday?

Fascinating medieval costumes worn by flag bearers … Folk singing and dancing to celebrate the olive harvest … Displays of old agricultural tools … Local art on display in the streets, brass bands playing and more!

The “stars” of the event will of course be the delicious olives and olive oil that this Maltese town is famous for!

Sample the heavenly Maltese ftira (a unique local bread bun) and bread dressed with olive oil, freshly pressed especially for the event!

Learn how the olive tree is cultivated and the various stages that lead to the finished product - a delicious type of oil that is much sought after! Locally produced olives, olive oil and related products will be on sale during the event.

Another interesting thing that you can see and visit at this event, is the crypt in St. Catherine’s church, since it will be open to the general public especially for this event.

Sunday 25th of September

The festival continues on Sunday morning.

What can you expect to see on Sunday?

Traditional blessing of local animals such as pets, cattle and horses in front of the parish church ... Local small kids learning how to plant trees and much more. You can also pay a visit to the belfries of the church which will be open to the general public for the occasion.

For more information on the event, contact the Zejtun Local Council by email on zejtun.lc@gov.mt

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