Where to go this St. Patrick’s Day in Malta

Malta is known for its nightlife, not to mention the love of the Maltese for celebration and partying. Be it summer festas, weekend parties, or open-air concerts, any excuse is a worthwhile justification for making merry.

The Irish feast of Saint Patrick’s, which is a cultural and religious celebration held yearly on the 17th of March, is no exception. Unlike the Irish, for whom Saint Patrick is the patron saint, the Maltese have no particular claims on this festivity as such, yet, this is not a deterrent to those of us who waste no time in donning Irish green, raising our beer glasses, and preparing ourselves for a day of inebriated merriment.

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Fortunately for us, this year Saint Patrick’s will be taking place on a Saturday, instead of on a weekday, which is usually the case, to the moans and groans of early risers everywhere. So, grab your tall green hats, your special mug, and your partying spirit, and head off to any one of these suggested events around the island:

St. Patrick’s Sunday in Floriana – For those who prefer to celebrate this religious feast in a more traditional way, this is surely the event to go. Hosted by the Floriana Local Council, the event will be taking place on Sunday 11th, instead of on Saturday 17th. Floriana’s take on this festivity goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. This year, the celebrations will centre opposite the Police Headquarters in Floriana, and will feature live music by Fakawi, Planet Seed and Kevin Borg. The event will start at 1.00pm and go on till around 7pm. Guinness on draught, food stalls, and a kids area, will be available. Entrance is free. For more info, visit – https://www.facebook.com/events/218510788695194/

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Hugo’s Terrace goes Green – Known for its stylish décor and fabulous cocktails, Hugo’s Terrace this year is celebrating Saint Paddy’s with a live U2 Tribute by Muzzle. Dj’s Mia Wave & Leo Max will also be performing on the night. Entrance is free and doors will open at 8pm. For more information, visit – https://www.facebook.com/events/593741454291527/

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St. Patrick’s Day at Ryan’s Pub – This iconic Irish Pub is definitely one of the Maltese’s favourite venues on this most Irish of days. The downside is that it will surely be packed to the rafters on Saturday 17th. Squeezing in through hordes of shouting people towards the bar has also its cons however, not only because one can meet new people and make new friends, but most notably because of the live entertainment, not to mention the delicious food-stand featuring amazing burgers by Chef Daniel Grech. Early birds are more than welcome, since festivities at Ryan’s are known to kick as early as midday! For more info, go to – https://www.facebook.com/events/1822628434704559/

St. Patrick’s Day at TRUTH – More early celebrations start off at midday at this popular concept club within the heart of Paceville. Offering an eclectic mix of food and entertainment, TRUTH features some of the best DJs from the local dance music scene. In honour of Saint Patrick’s on the 17th the line-up will include Pocci, Ziggy, JJoy, and Nikki VP, amongst others. Those interested in knowing more about the event, please visit – https://www.facebook.com/events/175335219752284/

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Live Irish Music at The Orchard Restaurant – Offering a free half pint of Guinness, a shot of Baileys or a shot of Jameson Whiskey with every meal, The Orchard Restaurant surely knows how to attract its customers! Live Irish Music by Keltika Keoltoiri and performances on the mandolin, the Irish harp, guitar and piano, will also help to create a special evening to be remembered. For more information, visit – https://www.facebook.com/theorchardmalta/

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This article was written by me and originally published here.

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The Cult of Sacred Wells: Introduction

Awesome article. Visited a couple of wells when I was in Ireland and the atmosphere of peace and spiritual purity around them impressed me.

Fairy faith in the Northwest

  “There is no superstition stronger in Ireland than a belief in the curative power of the sacred wells that are scattered over the country; fountains of health and healing which some saint had blessed, or by which some saint had dwelt in the far-off ancient times. But well-worship is even older than Christianity. It is part of the early ritual of humanity, brought from the Eastern lands by the first Aryan tribes who migrated westward, passing along from the Mediterranean to time Atlantic shores,” (Wilde, Holy Wells).

The great regard that the people of Ireland had for wells is so great that, at one time, they were referred to as The People of the Wells. Within Ireland and Wales, many sacred wells dotted the landscape, each coveted for their holy powers of magic, insight, and healing. From ancient times, to the spreading of Christianity into the British Isles, and even…

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An Unconventional Saint Patrick’s – One Day Later!

Alright – I SUCCUMB!

I’ve been reading posts about St Paddy’s, its origins, and how people got shitfaced all through yesterday. I promised myself I wouldn’t post anything relevant on MY blog… but… here we go! lol

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When I was younger (that is, up to three/four years ago hehe), I used to take the day after Saint Paddy’s off. After all – it was impossible to wake up for work at 6am, when you got back home, drunk and disorderly, at 4.30am right? The 18th of March was usually spent asleep and/or vomiting repeatedly in a plastic bucket and/or nursing an enormous headache while trying to nibble at some salty crackers.

Fast forward to the new me – living in my own apartment, with a steady income, a steady relationship and a penchant for loooon looong holidays abroad (therefore needing all the accumulated time-off and vacation days I can spare), and I’m not doing that anymore… HOWEVER…

Seeing that in around a month and a half it’s my bf’s bday, and that I honestly didn’t know what to get him as a bday present, I had the absolutely fantastic idea of gifting him with a weekend break at a great hotel + spa we love and whose food is just awesome, and combine that with St Paddy’s! So, as of tonight, here we go!

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Quite an early surprise for someone whose bday is in May – true, HOWEVER due to other unforseen circumstances, we’ll be quite up to our ears in other stuff in May (more about this later on, as we’re keeping it kind of low-key for now), PLUS we really needed this break – sort of like the calm before the stress-storm hits.

Anyways, to get back to my original issue, since we did not celebrate St Paddy’s yesterday eve like the rest of the planet, as we had to wake up early this morning, we are going to celebrate it in grand style tonight in our hotel room after a luxurious Mediterranean all-you-can-eat buffet. Is there something better than getting drunk in bed with your boyfriend/best friend?

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YES

I just remembered one of the most GODDAMN AWFUL Horror Comedies everrrrr – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzgjsTzwlU4

Gods, I just adore honest trailers. Anyways, I’m going to download this as soon as I get home, and WE ARE GONNA PLAY THE DRINKING GAME!!!

Oh boy, so looking forward to that ;p

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Then tomorrow, we can detoxify with another free-for-all buffet (this time, for breakfast), and go relax in the pool and jakuzzi for a couple of hours, before heading to the spa where I have booked us in for a couples’ massage… hmmm…

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Finally – Imbolc is Coming!!

Pronounced: EE-Molc
Incense: Rosemary, Frankincense, Myrrh, Cinnamon
Decorations: Corn Dolly, Besom, Spring Flowers
Colours: White, Orange, Red

While for many people, next weekend is a normal weekend like any other, for Pagans and Wiccans the world over the 1st and 2nd of February are very important, as the Wheel of the Year turns once again, and the festival of Imbolc is celebrated and enjoyed.

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Imbolc, found between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, marks the beginning of Spring, and is also called Brigid’s Day. Historically it was mostly observed in Wales, Ireland and Scotland and the Isle of Man, where this aspect of the Goddess was most predominant, and it is one of the four Celtic fire festivals.

This is yet another Pagan tradition which the Romans, and through them the Christian sect, warped and appropriated, turning Brigid, Goddess of the Spring and New Life, into their Christianised representation – Saint Brigid – lol surprise, surprise. When Ireland converted to Christianity, it was hard to convince people to get rid of their old gods, so the church allowed them to worship the Goddess Brigid as a saint — thus the creation of St. Brigid’s Day. Today, there are many churches around the world which bear her name. The Christian version of Imbolc is also called Candlemas.

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This is a festival of hearth and home, involving hearthfires, divination through fire, as well as the joyous celebration of the coming Spring. It commemorates the changing aspect of the Goddess from Crone to Maiden, the successful passing of Winter, and the emergence of new leaves and greenery.

It is Feile Brighde, the ‘quickening of the year’. The original word Imbolg means ‘in the belly’, and therein you have the underlying energy. All is pregnant and expectant – and only just visible if at all, like the gentle curve of a ‘just-showing’ pregnancy. It is the promise of renewal, of hidden potential, of earth awakening and life-force stirring.

Like Persephone coming out of the Underworld, Brigid represents the light and bright half of the year.

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Celebrants prepare a special meal on this day, as well as weave rushes or stalks of wheat or barley, into what is known as a Brigid’s Cross, symbolising not just the human figure, but also the seasons and the elements. Brigid’s symbol is often hung on doors and windows, in order to symbolise the household’s welcoming of Brigid into their home.

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It is traditional upon Imbolc, at sunset or just after ritual, to light every lamp in the house – if only for a few moments, or light candles in each room in honor of the Sun’s rebirth.

Traditionally, some covens also have their ritual Maiden wear a ‘Brigid’s Crown’, a wreath made of fresh flowers and green grass, and sporting 12 small candles around, as representation of the fiery Goddess.

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Foods appropriate to eat on this day include those from the dairy, since Imbolc marks the festival of calving. Sour cream dishes are fine. Spicy and full-bodied foods in honour of the Sun are equally attuned. Curries and all dishes made with peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic or chives are appropriate. Spiced wines and dishes containing raisins – all foods symbolic of the Sun – are also traditional.

MERRY IMBOLC!! 😀

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Christians afraid of others’ beliefs

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-30919259

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Lol seriously? Get a life!

If one is sure of one’s own beliefs, one does not need to destroy others’!! This sort of behavior just shows the thieves’ weakness and their own uncertainity, since they obviously need to deface other people’s creeds in order to feel secure with their own.

How utterly stupid and futile.

Missing the cottage… yes more about Ireland ;p

When you live in a European island which is famed for its sun and beaches, where 9 months out of 12 you are sweating in the too-warm temperatures while wearing a sleeveless top and flip flops, and where it has only snowed a couple of times (literally) in the historical memory of the place, going on holiday somewhere in the mountains where the temperature habitually varies between -1.5 and 3.5 degrees celsius on a good day IS A BIG DEAL.

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In all of my life, I have never seen snow yet, not even when abroad more’s the pity – I have never been in extremely cold temperatures, not even when I visited the Dolomite mountains, and I have never been skiing. As an islander who takes hot weather, days at the beach, ice cream, and fun in the sun, as an everyday occurence, I can hardly imagine what living in such weather could be like.

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Right now, anyone reading this who actually does live somewhere cold, must think I’m crazy to want to experience such a thing. But really, I think one of the goals in life is to experience as much as possible, so living somewhere different in different conditions, is for me, something to do at least once.

Although I did not see and feel snow on my face and around me in Ireland this December, it WAS an experience. I literally froze my fingers off at times, still, coming to our rented self-catering cottage in the evenings, lighting the stove, and huddling under the blankets while sipping some hot tea, was awesome in itself. Something I had read about only in novels.

Our cottage was just lovely. Really small – having only one bedroom, one bathroom, a living room and a kitchen, yet totally perfect.

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Here is the link to its page on Tripadvisor – my review is actually still pending as of now, but I guess you might be able to read it at a later date – I left a 5-star rating ofc!

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/VacationRentalReview-g212097-d2222755-THE_GRANARY_country_holiday_cottage_with_open_fire_in_Cahir_Ref_8661-Cahir_County_Tipp.html

When the weather is so unkind, finding a little unlooked for friendliness gives one an unconditioned and natural warmth, one which is only to be felt in the heart. We arrived at the cottage on a very cold morning at around 1.30am. We had had no time to buy any food for our breakfast and expected our arrival to be pretty hard, since the owner was leaving us the key in a flower pot near the door. We were so wrong! As we parked, we could see the flickering welcoming light of the stove in the living room and the lampshade near the sofa sending us a cheery light – the owner had prepared them for us to show us the way and keep the place warm.

Also, when we went in, we realized she had left us some home-made scones for our breakfast togather with some butter, jam, tea, coffee, sugar and milk… it felt so good to know that someone cared for us in a country were we did not know anyone! Small touches of welcome and friendship from someone we did not know were so much welcome. 🙂

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Back from Silence – The Cliffs of Moher in IRELAND

Naughty naughty me! I haven’t posted anything in around two weeks! Guilty as charged. In my defense, I really did have A LOT going on. Things like a ten-day holiday in Southern Ireland (with crappy wi-fi) and my bday too 🙂

So, instead of re-capping everything on at once and leaving 99% out, I’ve decided to write about it when it comes… that is, when some particular instance, feeling or experience overwhelms my thoughts so much as to spill out everywhere 🙂

For now, since I’m currently downloading the 3000 photos taken in Ire on my USB, I will just share a nice tit-bit with you.

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One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life are the Cliffs of Moher. These are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare.They are just ENORMOUS and MAJESTIC. An experience I will cherish for a lifetime. I had alreayd been there once around six or seven years ago, and had been yearning to go again ever since… well I did!

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Never you mind that I am very windblown and my face and everything is kind of a mess… it WAS raining at the time and not just a few drops either, though it’s not quite apparent in the pics.

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Still, it didn’t turn out so bad after all 😀 In fact, it was BLOODY FANTASTIC!!

Packing for Ireland – Of books and Gods

Finally the day is approaching! We leave on Saturday!

‘Leave’ – such a great word. I have so much I want to leave behind. So many feelings and hurts which I try to suppress and forget, but which creep out silently on clawed feet to haunt me at night. Sweaty nightmares and unshed tears apart, escapism is all very well, but is it enough?

Yesterday I started packing. I had made a list earlier – well two really. One was a list of things I needed to bag i.e clothes, jackets, socks, etc. The other more important one was a list of ‘those books’ which for some reason or other, seemed kind of perfect reading for Ireland! I know books kinda weight a lot but…

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YES I’m gonna take and read all of those. And yes I can manage thank you! Apart from a three hour flight to Ireland and back, we have some serious long drives, not to mention the fact that night dons its mantle at 4pm in Ire, so probably we’ll start exploring early, but snuggle tightly in our cottage early too. Not that I’m complaining mind you, there are many things one can do in a cottage ;p

At the moment I’m re-reading ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ (read previous post). It’s almost done actually, so ‘Hollow City’, its sequel, comes next. There are three masterpieces by Neil Gaiman which, again, I’m re-reading for the second time just because I miss Neil I guess hehe. Also Ireland, full of Celtic Gods, faeries, seelie myths and history, puts me in a Gaiman kind of mood.

Next comes a find from a second-hand bookstore, James Herbert’s ‘The Ghosts of Sleath’ which is basically a haunting horror mystery taking place in a small mysterious British town.

And to round up, there’s Greg Keyes’ ‘Kingdoms of Bones and Thorn’ quartet. Through the beautifully crafted plot and characters, the one which shines in my estimation and the reason why I’m lugging these books along to Ireland, is the Briar King. God of the Forest, reminiscent of Cernunnos, and the Green Man, and personification of the power of mighty wisdom encapsulated within the earth, this character fascinates and grips me so totally that I wanted to experience it in a country which I associate with the beauty of nature so much.

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10 Days to Ireland!!

Yes, I started a countdown!! I really can’t wait!

My bf said he just emailed to book somewhere nice to go and dine for my bday while we are there and it re-awakened all the hectic joy and fizzywig madness of my frenzy. I LOVE IRELAND!!!

The countryside, the warmth of the people, the Celtic background, the bright pagan lurking behind a thin veneer of ‘normality’. Each time I hear someone with an Irish accent or that typical thick bass, like melted honey on dark bread, I just want to swoon, shiver and orgasm at the same time.

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Ok – trying to calm myself now. Seriously ;p

So, we are leaving on Saturday 6th and will be there around 6pm and after we grab our luggage, dashing straight to the Academy in Dublin to watch SABATON!! Koorpiklani and Tyr will open for them!! Oh the joy! Ireland + Heavy Metal!!

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For the uninitiated, Sabaton is a Swedish heavy metal band whose lyrical themes are based on war and historical battles. The car’s CD player must be sick of them by now since we’ve played the albums so much. The other two bands are also quite famous – one being a Folk Metal band from Finland and the other having Vikings and Norse gods as their primary subject matter. It will be a night to remember!

I guess by the end of it we’ll be really and truly mashed potatoes. But it will be worth it, and I’ve really no right to complain even one tiny teensy little bit. First of all because it is a part of the most awesome bday present ever, and secondly because the present-giver is going be worse off than me.

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My poor poor cuddly bf has to drive for hours and hours each day (we rented a car to be able to sightsee more), but he says he likes it as it offers him an opportunity to enjoy the country in another way. That will give me time for naps, not to mention reading! Already compiling a small book list (yes for going to Ireland… lol… thank all the Gods I am taking some big luggage).

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Ireland here we come!!

So, today me and my bf finally finished planning our ten-day trip to Ireland. We are going there as an extended holiday to celebrate my birthday and I must say I am really looking forward to it, not only because I need a holiday (which I definitely do), but also because I ADORE Ireland! It’s the third time I’m visiting this beautiful Celtic country, full of legends, extravagant vistas and magical ruins, and I can never get enough of it.

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I first went to Republic around 6 years ago with some friends. Then, last December, me and my bf went to Northern Ireland. I guess I so impressed my better half with my comments about how Republic is different from Northern, wilder and as picturesque, though in a different way, that he decided he HAD to go there too. Maybe this is why, almost a year later, he gave me the best bday + Xmas present ever! A ten day trip to Ireland! He not only bought my flight, but also rented a very cute cottage with fireplace in County Tipperary for a week, as well as a b&b in County Galway for another 3 nights! And he also rented a car and will be my personal driver for the duration of the trip! Ain’t I a lucky gal!? ^^

We spent at least four weekends planning our holiday, searching out likely locations, finding them on google maps and then recording them on his GPS. Oh and btw, did I mention that he also bought tickets for both of us to go see BEHEMOT live in Dublin on one night, and SABATON on another?? He gave me all these flight tickets, car hire ticket, cottage and b&b info and concert tickets in a beautiful card with a Gothic Princess on it… and the envelope was just bursting out its seams with all that stuff! Lol it was so funny!

Anyways, I guess this is one of many entries I will be making about going to Ireland, not to mention being there, and coming back. 🙂

One the places I’m looking forward to visiting in County Tipperary is the Rock of Cashel. Here are some pics below!!

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