World Cup fever wins over religious feasts

Sunday newspaper Illum confirms that feasts in Kalkara and Fgura were postponed by a week due to world cup final.

The St Joseph feast in Kalkara and that of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Fgura will be held a week later than usual, in order to avoid clashing with the World Cup final, to be held on Sunday 13 July at 10pm.

Sister newspaper Illum reports that in the past, the year-long efforts of feast organisations came to nothing since the public preferred to watch the much awaited football game which declared the world champion for the next four years.

“It’s not the first time that the Sunday procession with the main statue roamed the streets alone because a final was being played,” Kalkara’s parish priest Fr Ronnie Zammit told Illum.

He underlines that apart from attendance, such games also affect the devotion that such processions require.

“It’s hard to control a person from shouting or celebrating a goal during a hotly-contested match,” Zammit remarks.

He says that since every two years a final would be held on the second Sunday of July – alternating between World Cup and Euro Cup tournaments – from this year onwards the feast will be held on the third week of July. The decision seems to enjoy the backing of all the organisations involved, in contrast with the Fgura feast.

Informed sources told Illum that even though the majority of stakeholders in the Fgura feast wanted the postponement of the feast, this manoeuvre faced the opposition of the local band club. The latter argued that they would now face an uphill task of finding enough bandsmen.

Consequently, it was decided that the Fgura feast will only be postponed temporarily and that from next year the feast will return to its original date of the second week of July.

The third week of July 2014 will now see a total of five feasts, namely St Sebastian (Qormi), Our Lady of the Doctrine (Tarxien) and St Joseph (Msida) together with those found in Kalkara and Fgura.

Read more in today’s issue of Illum.