The majority of the youngsters probably never heard of it, but in older days, December 24 - that is, Christmas Eve - was a big no-no day to be born on. I had never heard of it, until one day several years ago, my father gave me a book titled Rigal tal-Milied, which is authored by Trevor Zahra. I remember that in this book, there was a very sweet story about the Gawgaw tale.

According to a superstitious belief which our fathers had, a person born on December 24 was very unlucky since, year after year, this person would be transformed in a Gawgaw on the night between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

This Gawgaw, according to the tale, was nothing more than a disfigured monstrous ghost that used to go round the streets frightening people throughout the night. The transformed person would only return to a normal human being on Christmas morning, however, the person would be totally exhausted and all bruised.

This transformation was said to be God's punishment towards that person for being brazen enough to choose to be born the night His son was born.

The only way a person could avoid being transformed into a Gawgaw was to stay up all night and count the holes in a sieve from 11 p.m. Christmas Eve until Christmas morning.

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