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For the first time this year the Gharb Local Council in collaboration with the Ministry for Gozo has organised a festival of art, culture, history and music spread over three days between Friday 16th and Sunday 18th March which weekened also happened to be a long weekened. The festival which was named `Seher il- Punent' has exposed the main characteristics of this Gozitan village unique in its style and very popular amongst Maltese and tourists.
During these three days the village has been transformed into an array of continuous activity. The Gharb main square `Pjazza Zjara tal-Madonna', where the main attractions were held was decorated with feast decorations. All the places of culture and historical interest such as museums, chapels etc were open till late hours and walking guided tours around the locality were also organised together with re-enactments of historical events, band marches, art and crafts exhibitions and many other events which were of great attraction. All visitors also enjoyed the outside catering services of the popular Country Terrace Restaurant who apart from a restaurant service was also offering snacks. There was also an area for children with games and animators. Local rock bands and dance groups together with other artists performed on various small stages which were set up along the main street leading to the main square. Each night was closed-of with a spectacle of fireworks. Another attraction which was surely was not missed by the large number of visitors of this festival was the live performance by some of the finalists of the Malta song for Europe 2007.
Although Gharb is a small village and its resources are very limited, with the help of the Ministry for Gozo and sponsors such an event could take place. The Council is very satisfied with the success achieved with this festival being a success not only for our locality but also for the Gozitan establishments because of the high number of tourists and Maltese who crossed from our sister island Malta which according to the Gozo Channel Co. Ltd were 24,000 passengers and 6,000 cars more than usual for the weekend to attend the said festival. Such an activity was the first one, which was organised in Gozo. Similar activities will be organised in Gozo in the upcoming months. We are sure that the Gharb Local Council has been a fine example to others, encouraging them to organise similar activities, which is sure to be of help to the commercial activities in Gozo by bringing more tourists to this island.
The Mayor, David Apap together with the Local Council wishes once again to thank the Minister for Gozo, Hon. Giovanna Debono, all the staff and helpers for their contribution. The Council would also like to thank all the sponsors who gave their donation towards this event.
During the cultural walking tours, the students are observing how the "Qiegha" was done.
Folkloristic dances during the first evening of the festival
One of the singers at the festival
The Ghawdex Handbell Ringers during the first evening of the festival
Crafs Exhibition
From left to right: Michael Agius, Minister for Gozo G. Debono, Gharb Mayor David Apap, Consiglia Azzopardi in the crafts exhibition whilst the minister was going around the festival activities during its first day. Bulgarian Dancers "Rainbow Spirit" during a
show on the principal stage on the first evening
Dances
The principal stage of the festival in the Visitation Square in Gharb with the Basilica of Gharb in the background and the coloured lights on the buildins in the square which contributed to the magic of the Seher il- Punent festival.
The principal stage of the festival in the Visitation Square in Gharb with the Basilica of Gharb in the background and the coloured lights on the buildins in the square which contributed to the magic of the Seher il- Punent festival.
The Infiorata whilst it was being formed
The Infiorata
The Infiorata which was set up for the festival. The work on this infiorata was done during the night between Saturday and Sunday. The 'fratelli' of Gerano together with the
picture of Heart of the Madonna in the Basilica of Gharb
Don Giovanna Celsi, the arch-priest of Gerano (Italy) together with the 'fratelli' during the procession of the picture of the Heart of the Madonna.
The miraculous picture of the Heart of the Madonna which was brought specifically for the Seher il-Punent festival from Gerano - the twinned locality of Gharb. This picture is seen being taken out from the Parish Church of Gharb and eventually it passed over the Infiorata during the procession which was held on Sunday 18th March. The closure of the festival on the principal stage during Sunday Evening. On the stage, one can see the presentator Carl and Romina
Bonaci together with Ryan as well as (from left to right) the mayor of Gharb David Apap, the Mayor of Gerano Andrea Eumeni and the Vice-Mayor of Gharb Raymond Cassar.
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