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Masonic News & Views -- Easter in Malta
April 05, 2010
Greetings and Happy Easter Brother,

I know that by the time you see this Easter will have passed but the celebration of Jesus' resurrection is a very special time on the island of Malta. The population is said to be ninety-eight percent Roman Catholic with the other two percent being made up of Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and the Bahá'í Faith. The entire island, it seems, takes part in celebrations and observances that take place during the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday.

One Easter tradition that I have been particularly enjoying is that of the figolla. A figolla is basically a dense cake, although here it is called a biscuit, about the size of your face that is coated with icing and stuffed with a sweet mixture of ground almonds. They are baked in different shapes: a boy, a girl, a basket of eggs, a lamb, a fish, hearts, ducks, mermaids and sometimes even a bunny. People make them or buy them and take them around to their friends and loved ones as gifts. They are delicious and very rich, and though it can be done I do not recommend trying to eat a whole one.
The most impressive event, to me, was the Good Friday Procession. In the early evening of Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, many of the villages are transformed into open-air theaters as locals dressed in full costume proceed through the streets carrying statues that depict the cycle of suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some of the costumes are amazing; the statues are incredible works of art, and the solemnity and reverence of the procession is very moving.

The dedication of those involved is impressive, as well; the satues can weigh as much as a ton and in some cases only four men carry them during the procession that can last over two hours. I've included some of the photos I took during the procession. I'm not much of a photographer but I hope you enjoy them.

May the seas of life be gentle.
May the winds be at your back.
May your journey be successful.
And, won't you please hurry back.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

Now, on with the news........................

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