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Author: Melisande Aquilina

The Maltese Traditional Wedding

In olden times, marriages were arranged between families. This system allowed property to be inherited by the chosen persons. Young people were expected to marry the girl or young man of their family’s choice, usually to cement allegiances or businesses. This system also broadened the family’s assets and sphere of social influence. In the countryside when a family had daughters of marriageable age, they would place a pot of basil or carnation on the window ledge. On the other hand, when a young man decided to get married, he would wear a big beautiful red carnation behind his ear...

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Geography of Malta

The Maltese Islands are located in the central part of the Mediterranean Sea, between Sicily and the coast of North Africa. They are about 94km away to the south of Sicily, 354km to the north of Tripoli, and about 290km to the east of Tunisia. The Maltese archipelago consists of three main islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino. The smallest islands of the archipelago, Cominotto, Filfla and Saint Paul’s Islands, are uninhabited. The Maltese archipelago, having a northwest to southeast direction, has a maximum length of about 45km. Malta, the largest island, has a surface area of around 246...

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Prehistory in the Maltese Islands

Maltese Prehistory is a very long period of about 4,000 years, basically from 5,200B.C to 725B.C. During this period, the Maltese Islands came to be inhabited by people of different cultures. Generally, Maltese Prehistory is divided into three consecutive periods. The Neolithic Period spans from 5,200B.C to 4,100BC, the Temple Period from 4,100B.C to 2,500B.C and the Bronze Age spanning from 2,500B.C to 725B.C. The dates appearing above are approximate. All the dates we find in Maltese history are largely based on the ceramic styles and typology of the Prehistoric pottery remains found locally. However, these dates are reliable...

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L-Għonnella

Known locally as ‘għonnella’, ‘faldetta’, ‘ċulqana’, or even ‘stamijna’, this traditional characteristic symbol of Maltese heritage was a kind of female headgear which resembled a cape or shawl, and which used to be worn by women of the islands of Malta. The ‘għonnella’, which many folklore writers consider to be a traditional Maltese costume, can be described as a large hood made of rich silk or cotton stiffened at the top by means of cardboard, cane or whalebone. Part of the ‘għonnella’ rested over the head like a cloak or hood, while the rest was held by hands at...

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The Order of the Knights of Saint John in Malta

The coming of the Knights of Saint John to Malta in 1530 brought with it a radical change in every aspect of Maltese life. For the Maltese, this meant the beginning of a new era, and one can say that during this period the islands developed not only from the political viewpoint, but also with regards to the economic and social aspects. During this period of 268 years, especially after 1565, the Maltese population increased, Maltese economy became more diversified, while the social level of the Maltese inhabitants developed to a very high degree. It was also during this...

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