Santa Luċija – Destination of Excellence
The old Hamlet of Santa Luċija is situated nearby the village of Kerċem. Here one can meet the warm hearted locals and the passion for their heritage. In fact, local villagers have ably succeeded in sustaining, developing and promoting the intangible heritage within their locality by organising a number of events.
The hamlet nestles between three hills, each having a natural water spring, making its surroundings one of the most fertile areas of Gozo. Santa Luċija encompasses within its confines probably the oldest inhabited settlement in the Maltese Islands, with the first settlements dating back to around 5000 B.C.
The feeling of tranquillity in the area is almost tangible, and the enchanting surroundings make it perfect for those who choose to explore its beautiful countryside. The local community has also proudly preserved old crafts and cultural heritage such as pottery, remains of a medieval settlement, a 19th century aqueduct and a fountain supplying natural water.
The Award for Local Intangible Heritage was presented to this small hamlet primarily for the wonderful Ikla tan-nanna (Grandma’s dinner). The quaint hamlet plays host to a number of local activities which are held frequently by the Fondazzjoni Folkloristika Ta’ Klula. The following 3 annual events attract a great number of visitors:
Bis-Saħħa Wine Festival in June: a wine festival with local wine, food and traditional dancing and music.
Ikla tan-Nanna (Grandma’s Dinner) in July: an annual gastronomic event featuring a homemade traditional meal and local entertainment. The village square is decorated in the style of bygone years.
The Light Festival in December: This is an interesting winter festival that celebrates the Patron Saint of the Hamlet – Santa Luċija – the Saint of Light. Young girls with garlands of lit candles on their head light the bonfire in the square. Brass Bands entertain the visitors who can also sample traditional food and local wine. The famous Santa Luċija Buns are distributed to participants as they leave the church after the Service.
Various initiatives are being organized to preserve the local culinary and craft traditions so that present and future generations are able to enjoy Santa Luċija‘s traditional assets.
For more info on the hamlet and its events visit http://www.santalucija.com.