Autumn Festival in Malta.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 you can buy those from Leather Stand.

In most countries, the season of autumn is characterised by the reddening and shedding of the leaves. Malta features mostly evergreen trees, therefore this natural phenomenon does not take place on our islands, and yet, autumn is still felt in other ways.

This year, Malta will be celebrating the return of autumn at the so-called Autumn Feast (‘Festa Ħarifa’), which will be taking place in the village of Qormi on Saturday the 5th of November from 6.00 to midnight, for its second edition.

This event is being organised by Qormi’s Anici Band and Social Band Club, together with the Qormi Local Council, as well as the Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government, the Tourism Authority, and Valletta 2018 Foundation. It will be taking place in the central part of Qormi, near the borders of Saint Sebastian’s Parish, around Victory Square and the streets nearby.

The event will be marked with a plethora of live entertainment, including a number of dance groups, as well as local musicians, folklore pageants, and even children’s’ contests. The historical World War 2 shelter present in Victory Square will be open to the public, and there, a number of dramatic scenes will be presented. In the same Square, there will also be a motor exhibition of cars and motorbikes, as well as other items relating to the Second World War, presented by the WW2 Battlefields Re-enactment group. This same group will also be offering live street entertainment.

There will also be a children’s play area, with live animators and different modes of entertainment. Musician Benny Grima will also be colouring the scene with folkloristic and traditional ballads and music on his lute, also within Victory Square. Our Lady of Victory Church, also known as the Lady of Our Nativity Church, will be open to the public, and visitors will be able to listen to a concert of sacred music.

In Pinto Street, there will also be an impromptu concert of Maltese Għana (more commonly known as ‘Għana Spirtu Pront’), that is, an extemporised type of traditional Maltese folk music, characterised by its slow rhythm and rich verses. This song is usually sung together by different musicians (‘għannejja’), as it usually develops into an impromptu argument or discussion using the song of verse, rhyme and allegory, to accentuate the musicians’ points or storytelling in comic or dramatic ways. Truly an amazing spectacle to behold.

There will be a number of stands offering traditional artisan work as well as Maltese products for sale, as well as other stands exhibiting traditional crafts and folklore. Food and drink will, as usual, abound, as stalls with all types of food and sweets, not to mention street bars and wine bars, will be present for the occasion. Anici Band Club will also be delighting visitors with a number of marches starting from 7pm.

An activity not to be missed!