Winning bid reaches €13,500 to carry statue during Mgarr procession this evening

A massive winning bid of €13,500 won the tradition auction at the Mgarr feast, earning the right to carry the statue during tonight's procession• A quarter of the total amount will go to the Malta Biblical Society 

A massive winning bid of €13,500 won the 96-year-old traditional auction at the Mgarr feast this morning, to earn the right to carry the statue of the Assumption of Our Lady during the village’s procession this evening.

The auction, led by Parish Priest Fr Kalcidon Vassallo, was witnessed by hundreds of residents who gathered in the shadow of the parish church to witness the tradition playing out.

When the church bells tolled noon, Fr Vassallo took the microphone and started proceedings by reciting the Angelus prayer, and calling the teams interested to come forward.

After a tense moment of silence, four groups took part in the tradition auction, with the winning bid reaching €13,500. A quarter of the full amount will go to the Malta Biblical Society.

During the auction, Vassallo said that the traditional auction started back in 1922

when the Priest needed the grand amount of 16 pounds, 5 shillings and 9 pence. Vassallo said that Priest had asked the first group to ever carry the statue to help out, starting out a yearly tradition of voluntary donations towards the village feast.

For years to come, the auction was held after the parish was overwhelmed the requests to carry it during the procession, and consequently, it was decided that the team with the highest donation will earn the privilege to carry the statute. Only people who live in Mgarr can take part.

Together with neighbouring Dingli and Zebbug, Gozo, the tiny village of Mgarr today celebrated the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady – a week after seven other parishes across Malta and Gozo celebrated the feast.