Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/95

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Collectanea. 79

[The following further extracts from the same work have been kindly made by Miss Eyre.]

St. Anthonys Day. — On the 17th January (St. Anthony's Day) a number of horses, mules, and donkeys, decked out in ribbons and tassels, are driven in procession in front of the Vittoria, a little church in the St. Mezzodi, where a priest standing at the door sprinkles the animals with holy water as they pass by. At Notabile .... the quadrupeds partake of some barley which is placed in a tray for them.

Carnival— the Parata. — On Saturday morning the " Parata " opens the carnival diversions. This consists of about thirty men of the lower classes dressed up, some in gay Turkish dresses, and others as European warriors, all armed with wooden swords. These men meet first opposite the Governor's palace, where they commence dancing and striking their wooden swords with great dexterity to the sound of music. The dance is concluded by lifting up a little girl, splendidly arrayed, and girded with a small dagger which she is taught to wave with one hand whilst with the other she throws kisses in a very graceful manner. The com- panies then range through the city and perform their evolutions before the doors of the wealthy, to whom the little girl, who is called II Gharusa tal Parata (the Bride), is taken to receive money. The Parata is a commemoration of the Maltese victory over the Musalmans in 1565.

In the afternoon of this first day of the carnival .... troops of boys, with their faces besmeared, and clad in all kinds of incon- gruous garments, parade through the streets with all sorts of instruments of noise, such as trumpets, drums, whistles, and empty petroleum tins.

Easter Eve. — On Easter Eve, just at sunset, at Valletta and Vittoriosa, two or three men, one with a big drum and the others with fifes, playing a merry tune, go about the streets followed by large crowds of men, among whom noisy bands of lads, who keep rushing and pushing wildly all the time through the spectators.

Easter Su?iday. — Very early on Easter Sunday, before daylight, there is, in each town and in some of the villages of Malta, a procession with the image representing the resurrection of the Lord. That of Valletta is the most popular. At about 3 am. the procession — which consists of a number of young men carry-