Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birgu Festival 2012: Where an entire city was a glow by candlelight, my heart was captured and my soul filled.

Birgu (pronounced beer-gu) is one of the ancient cities of Malta and one of the three cities of the Knights of St. John, it is also known as Vittoriosa.  The other two cities that make up the three cities is Senglea and Bormla, a.k.a. Cospicua.  Birgu is a beautiful, fortified city that is similar to Mdina where it literally makes you feel as if you have been transported back in time.  The cobblestone streets and alleyways, twists and turns, make it a truly magical place.  This magic was brought to light last weekend when Melissa and I went to the Birgu Festival.  Not knowing exactly what to expect, we went knowing we would see one of our favorite things here...another beautiful, fortified city and in the process, get some good food and nouget.  As the night hit, it was as if someone waved a magic wand or sprinkled some pixie dust because right before our eyes, the city came a glow in candlelight.  Never have I seen anything more beautiful.  Not the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, nor the fireworks on July 4th in NYC,  or the lights of the Rockefellar Christmas tree could compete with what we witnessed.  Alleyways and side streets that fell dark with the night became alive in the candlelight.  We wandered through random streets in anticipation of the surprises we would find.  We turned down a very steep road that was dimly lit and came to a cul-de-sac of sorts that literally came alive right before our eyes and draped us in it's warm light.   It was such a powerful moment that completely overwhelmed us both with emotion.  An entire city comes together once a year to celebrate it's history and to show it's beauty in it's truest form.  The candlelight was so magical that it could be seen from Senglea, which is across the Grand Harbour and a ways away.  I was moved, I was speechless, I was in love.  Birgu captured my heart by revealing it's beauty in this purest form of light and filled my soul because it was the first place I have visited here that gave me a glimpse of what Malta was like about being transported back in time!

If you are thinking of visiting Malta, Birgu is a MUST SEE and if you can, I would hold off on a visit until October to visit when the Birgu Festival is on.  It is a two day event of re-enactments, museum visits, music and food but on the second day is the saying goes...the magic happens:-).

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