Over the past few months we’ve featured a number of Gozo’s local festas on these pages. They’re bustling, vibrant celebrations, typically held over a weekend. A heady mix of local food and wine, music and dance, you’ll find parades, fancy dress, fireworks, live bands and more. Everyone’s out on the street. Everyone’s got a big smile on their face. And everyone’s welcome.
I love festa season. It starts in spring and rolls through to September, and one of the final festas of the year is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Xlendi. I mention that specifically because it’s a great example of how Gozo’s festas each have their own character.
For anyone visiting Gozo, it’s easy to think that one festa will be very much like the next – and there are more than a few similarities. But there’s just as much that’s different too.
>Discover more about Gozo Festas.
In Xlendi, for example, you get the bizarre and frequently hilarious entertainment of the Gostra. These traditional games feature young and ridiculously agile locals attempting to collect five flags from a rope strung across the bay, or inching along a greasy pole to collect the flag at the end.
As you might expect, more people spend time in the water than on rope or pole, but it’s a great atmosphere, with competitors cheered on by locals and visitors alike.
The festa season is now over for another year, but if you’re in Gozo next spring and summer, make a point of sampling a few – and don’t miss Xlendi’s festa next September.
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*photo courtesy of Munxar