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Author: Melisande Aquilina

Having Fun at the Autumn Festival!

The season of autumn marks the transition from summer into winter. Technically, autumn starts on the 21st of September with the autumn equinox, that is, when the sun crosses the celestial equator from north to south, thereby denoting longer nights and shorter days, as well as colder weather. In Malta this year, it is only during the last few days that we have been really feeling the nippy chill of autumn, if not winter. Gone are the skimpy clothes and short-sleeved t-shirts, and out came our scarves, fluffy socks, and jackets. In most countries, the season of autumn is...

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The Maltese Farmhouse

During the early middle ages, living on an isolated farm could be very dangerous, especially before the arrival of the Order of the Knights of Saint John in 1530. Since at the time, the Maltese islands were threatened frequently by pirate raids, the earliest complexes of Maltese farmhouses were built towards the central part of the islands. The ones built near the sea coast were usually to be found in areas which were not easily accessible, for example in cliff areas. The Maltese farmhouse (‘razzett’) were generally either found in the open countryside encircled by patches of fields enclosed...

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Halloween – Celebrating at the Pumpkin Fest

Sunday 31st October marks the occasion of Halloween, also called All Saints, and Samhain. Being historically celebrated as a harvest festival, this date is also a popular time to celebrate the year’s bounty prior to the coming of the cold winter months. In many countries November also marks pumpkin season, which is perhaps one of the reasons why pumpkins (‘qargħa aħmar’) are so associated with Halloween. Thanks to our climate, in Malta, pumpkins can be found easily throughout the whole year. During the months of September and October in particular, one is able to admire the fields of growing...

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Windmills in Malta

The Maltese windmill (‘Mitħna tar-riħ’) is a scenic element of the architectural heritage of the islands, adding a definite rural and historical touch to the local landscape. Maltese stone windmills are beautiful structures. These were introduced even before the arrival of the Knights of the Order of Saint John in Malta in 1530, as the Knights themselves record finding at least two stone windmills already built when they arrived to the islands. Windmills were used in every town and village to mill grain using the energy of the wind, which converted this power by means of the rotary motion...

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The Maltese Door Knocker

One cannot visit Malta without noticing the typical Maltese architecture prevalent in most cities and villages around the islands. When it comes to the embellishment of their traditional houses and monuments, the Maltese are one of the most colourful and creative country in Europe, decorating their facades with picturesque balconies, sculptured windows and shutters, and whimsical door-knockers. History tells us that in pre-medieval and early medieval times, people did not knock on doors, but in fact used to scratch at them in order to announce their presence. Today, this may sound very strange and unpractical, yet one must remember...

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