During this time of the year, Maltese citizens from all sides of the country are looking forward to an anticipated and loved game from the middle ages held twice a year, but with the most flair on Victory day. The Regatta has been a part of our culture for longer than any of us can remember. It’s basically a series of boat races that require a tremendous amount of muscle power and an equally large amount of dedication from a synchronised team. It happens at the same time every year as part of the Victory Day celebrations, and usually requires competitors to cross the Grand Harbour.
The Regatta is an opportunity for the best crews surrounding the harbour area to come forth and provide a large audience with four to five hours of entertainment. 10 races take place under two different categories using traditional Maltese boats. The races date back to the middle ages, but an actual competition of the sort was first documented in the 19th century. History books document how the Knights of St John used to ask the grand master for permission to organise rowing competitions as part of their feast day celebrations; permission was granted and so the tradition started.
The course races stretch from Marsa to the Customs House in Valletta. The races serve to reflect the fighting spirit, zeal and passion that the Maltese population fought with during the Great Siege. If anything, it is a way of making sure that some people will always manage to come out Victorious on Victory day.
Want to be a part of this historical event within the Maltese culture? Head over to the Grand Harbour tomorrow and follow the great races; you’re sure to be entertained!
© 2016 – VIDA Magazine – Thea Formosa