Once a year, the martyrdom of St. Lawrence is remembered thanks to the shooting stars that we encounter every August. The stars are said to supposedly symbolise the tears that St. Lawrence wept while being grilled alive. In a country that is known for throwing a big celebration for one patron or another on a weekly basis, the way this particular patron is remembered is definitely not conventional to the culture’s standards.
The tears of St. Lawrence, which are technically perseids from a meteor shower associated with the comet Swift Turtle, are displayed across our Maltese skies from the 8th to the 14th of August. The Gozitan town of St. Lawrence was named after the patron due to charcoal remnants of the stars that used to fall in fields within the area. It became a tradition for locals to pick up charcoals from the fields as a post meteor shower activity and it later became to be known as a sign of respect towards the patron of the town.
To enjoy this stunning piece of nature’s art you don’t need much: just a dark spot away from the face of the moon, and an open sky. Open skies are essential as the tears fly across various directions. We suggest you get your camping gear out, as they are prominently seen in the early hours of the morning.
Suggested places to Star Gaze at:
- L-Aħrax tal- Mellieħa
- Dingli Cliffs
- Fomm ir-Riħ
- Mġar ix-Xini
- Wied iż-Żurrieq
- Għar Lapsi
Some of these places are not so easy to make your way to, but we assure you that once you get there and see the stars, you will have zero regrets. Just take a blanket with you, a flash light and get ready for a little night hike ‑ you’re in for a night you will never forget.