Santas Toy Town
Santas Toy Town
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Hamrun is a town close to Valletta and the Grand Harbour in Malta, with a population of around 8,800 people. It is built on a plateau that rises gently in the area of Tas-Samra. The roads of Hamrun are mainly straight, apart from a number of narrow streets surrounding the police station. The villagers are traditionally affiliated within one of two groups: Tas-Sikkina, meaning 'those who carry a knife' or Ta' Werwer, meaning 'those who scare' or 'the scary ones'. This could stem from the trouble-making image that the local football club has. Today Hamrun is a residential town with a busy commercial centre. In fact, St. Joseph High Road is lined with a number of shops, offices and showrooms.
The feast of St. Gaetano is celebrated annually on the first Sunday after August 7th. There are two main band clubs in town, and there is great rivalry between them. St. Gaetano’s band is known as ‘tat-Tamal’, while the other, St. Joseph is known as ‘tal-Miskina’. Both band clubs hold marathon marches on the day on the feast from the early morning to the late afternoon. Supporters wear the colours associated with their particular club, either red or blue, and dance to the brass band marches, or to popular music until they’re completely drunk. Fights break often between the rivals. In the evening, then, the band clubs play on a band stand adjacent to the parish church, while a procession leaves the church with the statue and roams around the city. The festa ends with volunteers who are carrying the statue of the St. Gaetano run up the stairs of the Parish. The run is coupled by a spectacular fireworks display and loud cheers from the crowds.
Things to see and do:
St. Gaetano Parish Church: The parish church is dedicated to St. Gaetano. It was built in the second half of the 19th century, in a Neo-Gothic style designed by George Schinas. The titular painting was done by Pietro Gagliardi in Rome, while the statue is the work of the famous Maltese sculptor Charles Darmanin and was completed in 1885.
Shop along St. Joseph High road: This long road has become a commercial hub in the region. Plenty of shops, offices and showrooms line this busy street.
Bus numbers 42, 51, 52, 53, 58 from Valletta