Culture
That's a fine motor! Vintage photo celebrates quirky tradition linked with Zabbar Feast
Did you know about the Pellegrinaġġ tar-Roti u Muturi?

Sarah Micallef

Considered by many to be the last big festa of the year, the Southern town of Zabbar is known for going all out to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Graces. 

Taking place on the first Sunday after 8th September, the effort that goes into organising the massive celebration – which includes parades, marching bands, street decoration and fireworks – is huge.

Arguably the most famous tradition associated with the feast though, is the Pellegrinaġġ tar-Roti u Muturi—a pilgrimage including hundreds of cyclists and bikers, in honour of Our Lady of Graces, who is interestingly also Patron Saint of Cycling. 

And while ongoing COVID-19 restrictions look set to limit the celebrations once more this year, a recently unearthed photo dating back to the late ‘70s has brought on much nostalgia among festa enthusiasts.

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David Rapa / Facebook via Nostalgia Malta

The photo shows late festa enthusiast Pietru, posing proudly alongside his truck, which would accompany the pilgrimage as it made its way down from Rabat to Zabbar, guiding the cyclists and bikers using the loudspeaker mounted on its roof. 

Several locals took to the comments section of the photo, which was posted to local Facebook group Nostalgia Malta, to celebrate Pietru’s memory, whose devotion to Our Lady of Graces was well known.

We’re sure he’ll be looking down on many pilgrimages to come!



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