Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Of vegetables and eggs

In a remote village in Malta called Mgarr there is a custom which attracts people in their hundreds.

The Sunday before the Assumption this village hosts an agricultural fayre. It might be as ancient as the Byzantine tradition of first fruits on the day of the Holy Transfiguration. It is also part of the festivities leading to the village patronal, the Assumption of the BVM, on the Sunday following the 15th August.

Thousands of exhibits of local produce are on display and the judges award the much awaited prizes. People admire the whole display and are also offered the opportunity to sample some of the produce. It is a very enjoyable custom as I hope you can see from the pics.

The Parish Church of Mgarr was built in the 20th century to replace a smaller older one. When the villagers and their priest discovered the large sum of money needed, which was prohibitive for such a small and distant village, they were not deterred. It was decided that after Sunday Mass villagers would take their eggs to the nearby towns and sell them. All monies were placed in the building fund. In a short time they made enough money and decided that the shape of their dome should be like an egg to remind all generations what can be achieved by hard work... and the humble egg!
The egg shaped church

Modern technology!

When most visitors left and silence resurfaced in this idyllic place
the villagers strtaed coming out and claiming their rightful ways!

Near the village cemetry a reminder of our mortality
and a plea from a soul in purgatory (clad in scapular) for prayer.

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