The game of il-Passju was popular in bygone times here in Malta, along with other games such as ballun stop and bocci.
In the past, village roads were mainly traffic free and children used to play games outside instead of playing indoors on Wii and Playstation.
Like elsewhere in the world, children devised a number of games to play, and in less prosperous times, materials such as stones, balls and pebbles were put to good use.
Il-Passju was such a game and here’s how it’s played: A chalk grid is drawn on the road, with boxes for the numbers 1 to 9. Each child picks a stone or pebble and then has to throw their stone onto each numbered square, starting at number one. Once the stone lands on the correct number, the player then has to hop onto the corresponding square. Once that has been achieved, then the player moves onto the next number. If the player fails to aim the stone into the correct box, then that player is “out” and the game moves onto the next player. The winner is the player who successfully gets to number 9 before anyone else.
Traditional games are undergoing a bit of a renaissance at the moment, with cultural events regularly being organised by some local councils inviting today’s children to play the games that their grandparents would have played. These events are advertised in the media and are popular with both tourists and Maltese alike.