A long-standing event in the social calendar of the Maltese Cultural Movement, which serves the Maltese community in the UK, is the annual celebration of the Feast of Maria Bambina. Following a Concelebrated Mass at Westminster Cathedral, Londoners and visitors to the big city had a first hand experience of Maltese devotion and ritual as the statue of Maria Bambina was carried through the streets of the City that only weeks before had been a lawless urban jungle run amok by rioters and looters.
In stark contrast, the upbeat atmosphere provided some much needed light relief and seized the opportunity to showcase Malta at its best. This annual gathering of Maltese in London also attracts several hundred locals and other visitors of all nationalities and the Maltese Fair that has become an integral aspect of the Maria Bambina celebrations stepped up a notch this year by inviting some of the finest producers of Maltese goods and leaders within the tourist and service industries.
Amongst the diverse exhibition of Maltese arts, crafts and literature, as expected, Maltese food and drink produce was a highlight which allowed an opportunity to try and buy some old favourites as well as a chance to test out some of the newcomers to the market that are championing the resurgence in traditional Maltese foods and the age old methods employed to create the distinct taste of home. One visitor who has spent the last 17 years living in London, remarked, “This is the main event in the year for me.