Malta Baby & Kids Directory: Parties

Welcome to Malta Baby & Kids Parties directory filled with Malta’s Baby Showers, Party Entertainers, Party Equipment, Party Food – Cakes, Party Food – Caterers, Ice, Party Invites, Party Shops and Party Venues.

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Modern trends in Holy Communion Parties

Lately, the Maltese appear to be veering away from the traditional ,large ,over-the-top ‘wedding’ style parties which were a fashionable way to celebrate their children’s First Holy Communion a few decades ago. The new millennium has seen a backlash against the rising cost of first Holy Communion celebrations locally. Nowadays, in a collective attempt to curb the traditional enthusiasm for pomp and ceremony which normally surrounds this Christian milestone, schools are increasingly encouraged to organise a collective party on their premises. This not only aids in cutting costs for the parents of the second year students; it also encourages a sense of camaraderie amongst those involved in the event planning. The families of the child who is celebrating their First Holy Communion generally bring their immediate family to the joint party; then the parents tend to arrange a tea party directly following the church ceremony, for close family members to attend. More often than not, this takes place at home, and would last a couple of hours, since the parish generally organises First Holy Communion ceremonies on Sunday afternoons, during the school term. There would still be a couple of parents who organise lavish First Holy Communion parties individually, but these are in the minority. In this case, then customarily the entire class would be invited, along with cousins and a few friends of the child in question. Popular venues include indoor play areas, such as Playzone and Romparound, theme parks like Playmobil and activity venues –bowling, for instance. In this way, the child in question receives plenty of gifts, not necessarily religious. The children who have been invited get to run around and waste their energy, whilst their parents enjoy a rare opportunity to sit down with a cup of tea. The incentive to reign in the excessive enthusiasm surrounding First Holy Communion events comes directly from the local parish priests. One particular church in Gozo had the children wear matching cloaked gowns over their outfits, in an attempt to discourage meringue style dresses and mini groom suits in an attempt to remind participants to dwell on the true solemnity of the occasion. Announcements during Mass, in the run up to the big day, raised awareness that fascinators, hats, strapless dresses or miniskirts would not be an acceptable dress code for the mothers of the youngsters. Despite the popular tide turning away from massive celebrations, many families buckle under the pressure of conversations on the church steps regarding the outfit, and find themselves getting swept away in the excitement of the Holy Communion rush, in spite of themselves. At the very least, previously blasé couples will go out and buy new outfits for themselves and their offspring, and order a cake and catering for their family gathering in order to celebrate.  Party  venues  and  animators  have  suffered  because  of  this  contemporary  tendency  to  pool Holy Communion parties’ together-resulting in less individual bookings for them. Since most schools tend to host the party on their own grounds, thus saving on cost, conventional party venues  are  finding  innovative  ways  to  encourage  individuals  to  host  their  First  Holy Communion  parties  at  their  site,  by  offering  early booking  discounts  .The  Parent  Teacher Association often spends a large portion of their budget on animators, as ,after all,this is a party for children and the purpose of the festivity is for the children attending to have a lot of fun. 

For school based First Holy Communion parties, the services of large animation companies which cater for big groups of children are often utilised. Bouncy Castles,magic shows and high energy organized games are very popular with children of this age group. Catering, complete with staff, cutlery and crockery are outsourced which ensures plenty of refreshments for young and old alike. First Holy Communion communal parties normally follow a brief procession, followed by Holy Mass.  In short, Holy Communion parties in Malta have come a long way from the stuffy church hall, filled with aging relatives, during which the bored celebrant would receive a multitude of religious icons and Holy Bibles. Nowadays, those families concerned are focussing more on the religious significance of the occasion, and less on outdoing one another through outlandish celebrations. Long may it continue!

 For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here

 

 

Il-Quccija

 

Traditional Maltese 1st birthday parties

Of the many Maltese traditions, few have survived as successfully as the ‘Quccija’.   Before this, the word ‘Quccija’ referred to a more morbid tradition the Maltese had, that when a family member died they would donate food to the poor to commemorate the deceased.  It is not clear how it changed into the joyful tradition that it is today -  a celebration of a child’s first birthday when relatives and family friends are invited and, besides the usual party fare, a game is played in which the child’s future is predicted. It has been practiced in this way since the 18th Century.   Objects representing different professions, trades or lifestyles are placed on a tray or in a basket and the child crawls towards them.  The first object which the child picks up is said to predict that child’s future.  In the past the selection for boys was quite different to that of girls however the more modern ‘Quccija’ would include many of the same objects. 

Boys used to be presented with tools for traditional trades or professions or even a character trait.  If he picked up corn, for example, it was a sign of a liberal personality, an inkstand or pen meant his profession would be that of a notary or lawyer, if a carpenter’s tool then he would be likely to become a carpenter. There were also usually some coins to indicate wealth. 

For girls the objects tended to be a needle representing a seamstress, cooking utensils, an egg which represented fertility and also money which in those days would probably have meant making a good marriage.

In both cases there was always a religious article for example rosary beads which would indicate that the child was inclined towards a spiritual vocation.

In a modern Quccija there is no limit to the variety of objects which could be presented to either a boy or a girl.   Here are some ideas for what you can put on you child’s quccija tray, but do not feel restricted...you can use your imagination:

Calculator – accountant

Computer mouse – career in I.T.

Credit Card – banker

Musical Instrument – musician

Book – journalist/author

Chalk – teacher

Ballet Shoe – Dancer

Ball (or any other piece of sports equipment) – sportsman

Comb or brush – hairdresser

Lipstick – beautician/makeup artist

Paintbrush – artist

 

So for your next child’s first birthday party try out this Maltese tradition.  You never know it may predict your child’s future!

 For many more great articles, purchase the latest edition of the book here

 


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Malta Baby & Kids Directory is created by mums for mums and childcarers.
Lisa Grech is the founder of the Malta Baby & Kids Directory and website. Together with Denise Briffa and Crysta Darmanin we combine work on the publication and website while bringing up lots of children (seven between us!).


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