ETHNOGRAPHY: The Feast Hanging Canopy

Whoever visits the Zejtun Parish Church during St Catherine feast days will be amazed with the way the church is decorated.  However the greatest splendor without doubt is the canopy hanging over the main altar.

If not the most artistically beautiful, it is sure one of the best hanging canopies found in the Maltese and Gozitan parish churches.  This canopy was inaugurated during the feast of St Catherine in 1929.  It was designed bu Emmanuel Buhagiar and Giovanni Decelis.  The wood carving was done by Buhagiar himself, whilst the gilding is Lorenzo Gatt’s work.  The pendents with gold embroidery over red velvet were produced in Italy.  The procurators at the time were Dun Spir Grixti,  Dun Gilormu Seychell and Spiridione Ellul.

The complete assembly of the canopy takes a whole morning, with volunteers working very cautiously not only not to damage this work of art but due to the fact that this massive canopy is assembled right over the marble main altar.   In all it has 118 wooden carved pieces and 68 pendants.

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