The most common greeting these last days was Il-festa t-tajba – “Have a good feast”. And was it good! All are as one this morning on the great festa that we had: the stately liturgy that confirmed St George’s basilica in its reputation for hallowed beauty, the flawless organisation of the external festivities within a milieu of the most sumptuous of street art decorations of Gozo, and the multitude of crowds that swarmed all over the city and jam-packed its historic centre around the basilica.
This homepage just cannot allow this day, “the day after”, to pass without giving expression to the overwhelming sense of joy for a festa that can only be described as “overwhelming”. The glitter of joy in the eyes of the Ġorġjani, their visible sense of pride and their open hearted welcome to all within the bond of community remain impressed with a day that we still wish coming.
With all the respect due to all, especially to those who are our cherished friends, we must say that there is no feast like that of St George in Gozo. The coverage given of yesterday and during these last days has borne this out for those who had any doubt about it.
St George’s own community radio, Leħen il-Belt Victoria, has been broadcasting the festa in its entirety throughout the world. The programme outlining the festa and published by the St George’s Parish Office, in June, has been carried out to its tiniest detail. St George’s is not a festa that speaks only in words. It is a guided experience in aesthetics, culture, human organisation, liturgical excellence and, last but certainly not least, spirituality.
Today, the organisers of the feast have been inundated with calls and messages of congratulations for a job well done. The basilica volunteers and their helpers had already locked up most of the silverware by early morning. They have worked throughout the day, in between Mass times, to remove the gandlieri and the fjoretti, the carpets as well as the gold and red velvet altar fronts. The Għaqda ta’ l-Armar have been sweating the whole day removing the pavaljuni and bandalori, the statues and their plinths and the other street decorations and also from late night yesterday. It will take some days before all the work is done.
At the end of it, Mgr Joseph Curmi, the archpriest of the basilica, offers to all the active volunteers of both the internal and the external festivities a well earned “GRAZZI MILL-QALB!”.
All will agree that it was another “overwhelming” experience. It was, indeed. Thanks to all.