Second Night of the Festa – San Gejtanu

 

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The Blue band-club; St. Joseph’s, or ‘tal-Miskina’. Relatively quiet tonight because it’s the San Gejtanu band-club’s turn to play the streets. Tomorrow it’s their turn. Notice right next to the band-club, on the right, the building with the gilded red drapery is the club (kazin) of the Labour Party. Politics and religion really are that close here – and it shows!

 

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During the finale of the march. The band of San Gejtanu leave their band-club at 9pm, go on a procession playing around the streets of Hamrun, then at 11.30pm they return in front of the club. They play in front of their home club for about 30mins, to large groups of people, some mere onlookers, others raised on their friends’ shoulders singing the anthems, beating their chest, waving flags that dwarf the street.

 

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This is the gilded facade of the San Gejtanu band-club or ‘tat-Tamal’, dressed and elaborately decorated for the occasion. Right underneath it are the hardcore supporters, dancing, singing, taunting. Some of the anthems can be quite provocative, but all, without exception, are bursting with pride. At midnight the band plays what is known as the Anthem March, known as The Red Flag anthem, and this drives the supporters into a frenzy. When it ends the fireworks go off and everyone disperses. Until tomorrow!
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