Culture
Uncovering 'Erbgha tat-Tniebri': Delving into the lesser-known Maltese Holy Week tradition
The tradition’s popularity has slowly died out.

Emma Galea

Holy Week in Malta is now in full swing and so are the preparations for the Maltese traditions associated with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Sunday.

But were you aware that during Holy Week in Malta there is a whole set of traditions associated with Wednesday?

This day is known in Maltese as ‘L-Erbgha tat-Tniebri’ but the traditions and knowledge associated with such a day are quite lesser known. 

The tradition involves closing and covering every single window within the church with dark curtains and putting out every single candle. This is done to create a complete sense of darkness within the church. The candles are even put out one by one to symbolise the apostles abandoning Jesus Christ in the Gethsemane Garden one by one.

Only one single candle is left lit. It represented the presence of Jesus Christ and it is the same candle that is used on Easter Saturday to light up the paschal candle (blandun).  

Had you ever heard of such traditions? 

27th March 2024


Emma Galea
Written by
Emma Galea
Emma is a Gozitan writer who loves all things related to English literature and history. When not busy studying or writing you will either find her immersed in a fictional book or at the cinema trying to watch as many films as she possibly can!

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