‘Bethlehem f’ Ghajnsielem’ officially opened
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On Saturday evening, after months of hard work by the villagers of Ghajnsielem, ‘Bethlehem f’ Ghajnsielem’ was officially opened by the Prime Minister, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, and blessed by Gozo Bishop, Mgr. Mario Grech.
Mayor Francis Cauchi and project manager Franco Ciangura then accompanied the Prime Minister around the nativity village. The first stop was at the carpenter house animated by Karmnu Xuereb ‘s family. The nearby blacksmith was animated by Guzi Mallia and his family. The Prime Minister then visited the sheperd’s cave and then headed to the Bakery which was animated by Frank and Lorietta Buttigieg. Next stop was the market where the Franciscan community headed by Fra Lorry was selling natural fruits, fresh fish and vegetables. The Prime Minister then stopped at the crafts centre to watch locals working on traditional Maltese crafts. The final stop was at the grotto with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
Mayor Francis Cauchi made a short speech thanking Mr Franco Ciangura, he also explained that ‘Ta Passi’ fields had been an abandoned area up until a few weeks before. The Prime Minister thanked all the volunteers adding that he was especially impressed with the fine details that ‘Bethlehem f’ Ghajnsielem’ offered. He augured that the village would be a place of unity for all the local families.
The atmosphere and surroundings of the nativity village was certainly helped by the the numerous animals which were used everywhere, and the actors walking with oil lamps as the fields darkened made it a very realistic scene. Fort Chambray was illuminated with several small bonfires creating the effect of the city of Bethlehem. More than 80 actors are animating the nativity village, all under the responsibility of Joanne Debrincat of Ghaqda Drammatika Ghajnsielem.
The nativity village will remain open every day until Sunday the 4th of January and will be animated with live actors on weekends and on public holidays.
Photo above is taken by Joseph Sultana and shows the Prime Minister visiting the grotto with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.