Rabat, Malta. Children, musicians, politicians – everyone and everything gets a white and blue wash-over at the Festival of St. Joseph in the town of Rabat in Malta.
The songs and cries of passion compete with the brass band for attention, distracting the few tourists that have ventured out to see the nearby medieval village of Mdina. Rabat is where it’s at on St. Joseph’s day.
To an outsider, the celebrations resemble those of a country that has just won a football championship – everyone knows the songs, everyone wears the team shirts, some have had a pre-festival pint in the pub, by the sound of their cheers.
The passion for St. Joseph is perhaps to be expected in a country where 98% of the population is Roman Catholic. But the sheer joy that can be seen in people’s faces is astounding.