Annunciation of Our Lady, parish church of Mqabba
|Motto: Non Nisi Per Ardua|
|District||South Eastern District|
|Borders||Kirkop, Luqa, Qrendi, Siġġiewi, Żurrieq|
|• Mayor||Charlene Zammit (PL)|
|• Total||2.6 km2 (1.0 sq mi)|
|Population (March 2014)|
|• Density||1,300/km2 (3,300/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Mqabbi (m), Mqabbija (f), Mqabbin (pl)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||MT-33|
|Patron saint||Assumption of Mary|
Mqabba (Maltese: L-Imqabba) is a town in the Southern Region of Malta, situated in the heart of a soft limestone area. The surroundings of the village is barren and stripped with quarries. Mqabba has around a quarter of the quarries in Malta.
With 3,315 residents, Mqabba has the characteristics of a typical Maltese village, with stillness prevailing in the small streets of the village. Mqabba was built around the Parish Church, the landmark of the village. The church is dedicated to the Assumption, with its feast being held every 15 August. The feast of Our Lady of Lilies (Madonna tal-Gilju) is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
The two band clubs of the village are situated in the piazza. The village feasts are popular with the residents. Other feasts celebrated are the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Sorrows, Corpus Domini and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.
Other landmarks in the village include chapels dedicated to the Lady of Sorrows, Saint Basil, Saint Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint John. Mqabba also has 139 cubic metres (4,909 cubic feet) of catacombs which were discovered in the 1860s.
The motto of the village is 'Non Nisi Per Ardua' which translates into 'Only with Ability'.
The importance of Mqabba is shown by the archaeological remains found in the vicinity. Extinct animals were found in quarries at "Ta` Kandja" and "Tax-Xantin". A sign that Neolithic people lived here was evident with the discovery of a cave found in a site known as "Bur Meghez". One of the most important discoveries in Mqabba is the Paleo Christian "Mintna Catacombs" found in Diamond Jubilee Square in 1860 by Dr. A. A. Caruana and Capt Strickland. The ritual table known as the "Agape" table dominates the whole structure of tombs. Archaeological details were studied by Mayr. Becker, Zammit and Bellanti.
The main church is dedicated to Assumption of Our Lady and its feast is celebrated on 15 August. The feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated on the nearest Sunday to 8 December. The feast of Our Lady of the Lilies is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
The titular statue found in the church, that of the Assumption of the blessed Mother of God, was made by Alessandro Farrugia in 1836 and was made similar to the statue of the Assumption which is found in Ghaxaq, made out of wood. The photograph shows the statue in its original form, as it was prior to 1928, when a new sarcophagus made of silver replaced the original wooden one seen in the picture. Apart from the sarcophagus, the statue itself has lost none of its characteristics.
The Assumption of Mary is celebrated on 15 August, and is also celebrated in Qrendi, Gudja, Ghaxaq, Mosta, Attard and Victoria (Gozo). It is all celebrated in the same day, as a tradition.
The parish feast which is organised between 8 and 15 August brings to Mqabba fireworks enthusiasts as the St. Mary Fireworks Factory, a world-renowned Fireworks group. The group won the first edition of the Malta International Fireworks Festival in 2006 and brought the most important honour in the village's history when it won the Caput Lucis Fireworks World Championships in 2007, in Valmontone a province of Rome in Italy after competing with seven of the world's most successful firework companies.
The secondary feast fireworks displays take place on the 3rd week of June of each year, the Feast in Honour of Our Lady of Lilies. Ground and Aerial Fireworks display are held on each day of the Feast. The main fireworks event is held on Saturday, eve of the Feast.
A self-propelled vertical firework wheel (a Catherine wheel) with a 32-metre (105 ft) diameter was fired on 18 June 2011. It was designed by The Lily Fireworks Factory for the eve of the village's feast of Our Lady of Lilies.
- Les Etoile d'Or du Jumelage in 1998 (European Union award for twinning) - achieved by the King George V Band within the Society of St. Mary and King George V Band Club Mqabba for a twinning with the Corpo Bandistico Santa Vittoria in Matenano a province of Ascoli-Piceni in Italy.
- The Malta International Fireworks Festival in 2006 won by the St. Mary Fireworks Factory Mqabba
- Caput Lucis - 'Campionato Mondiale di Fuochi d'Artificio d'Autore' in 2007 won by the St. Mary Fireworks Factory Mqabba
- Guinness World Records for the largest Catherine Wheel measured 32.044 m in diameter build by the Lily Fireworks Factory Mqabba on 18 June 2011.
- Won the National Competition for the decoration of the Band Clubs facade during Christmas
- Won National Live Crib Competition in 2007 by the Youth Section within the Society of St. Mary and King George V Band Club Mqabba
- Won II National Mechanised Ground Fireworks Festival in 2008, by the Lily Fireworks Factory Mqabba
- Won IV National Mechanised Ground Fireworks Festival in 2010, by the St. Mary Fireworks Factory Mqabba
- Won Premju Ġieħ l-Artiġjanat Malti 2015 for a Three Dimensional Ground fireworks piece by the St. Mary Fireworks Factory Mqabba
Zones in Mqabba
- Ħajt tal-Matla
- Ħal Millieri
- Ta' Kandja
- Tax-Xatba l-Ħamra
- "Estimated Population by Locality 31st March, 2014". Government of Malta. 16 May 2014. Archived from the original on 21 June 2015.
- "Torre Vincenti" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
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