Culture
A 20th century photo of Good Friday processions shows incredible times gone by
Devotees wore their absolute finest clothes.

Martina Said

For Malta’s many devoted Catholics, the cancellation of all religious Easter activities (again) this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic is a hard pill to swallow. And while many will be following mass and proceedings from home, others appear to have dug into their archives to reconjure days of old around Easter time in Malta.

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One such person is Joseph Piccinino, who shared an incredible black and white photo to the Facebook page Malta Vintage History, showing the capital on Good Friday as many of us have never seen it before.

A 20th century photo of Good Friday processions shows incredible times gone by

Joseph Piccinino via MALTA VINTAGE HISTORY / Facebook

The photo is believed to be from the first decade of the 20th century, and the Good Friday procession is making its way through Merchant Street in Valletta. Among the photo’s many striking aspects is the devotees’ attire – women and men are wearing their finest clothes, including a young boy and girl wearing a suit and a coat dress, seen at the front of the photo.

Describing the photo, Joseph explained, “The photographer stands in one of the balconies of the Royal Hotel, which was destroyed during WW2, of which the present HSBC bank is a part of.”

“In view is the casa bottega of the German family, Midland House, widely renowned for fine drapes and clothing from London and Paris.”

A commenter singled out the pristine woman in the balcony, wearing an elaborate hat, most likely of Victorian style. “The people on the balcony of Midland House were bound to be the family who owned the company, and it looks like (from the size of the company house) they could afford the latest fashion in hats and would not be wearing dated items.”

 

2nd April 2021


Martina  Said
Written by
Martina Said
A writer and editor, Martina has an affinity for Maltese things, particularly summer time on the island, adventurous country walks and fresh local cuisine.

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