Spectators lined the beach in St Julians this evening to watch the traditional ġostra, which sees competitors run up a 65-foot long lard-covered pole.

The tradition, which dates back to the 1800s, forms an integral part of the feast of St Julian’s.

A wooden pole is placed at an angle and covered in 15 litres of lard. Four flags are placed at the very end.

Members of the ġostra club run up the pole in 15-minute intervals to remove as much lard as possible before attempting the dash for a flag.

According to the entry requirements, one has to be a resident of St Julian’s and form part of a team of volunteers who help set up decorations for the village feast to be able to take part.

Another St Julian's tradition saw hunters saluting their patron saint firing of a musketterija as the statue was taken out of the church.

The hunters fired blank cartridges filled with black powder from the roof of the parish church. The tradition started in 1982.

Although musketterija is usually linked with fireworks, the word originated from the word 'musket'.

Not only was St Julian a hunter, the town, St Julian's, was also a hunting area in the time of the knights, when it was unbuilt and rural.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us