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The Magi arrive Bethlehem f'Ghajnsielem

A delegation from Ghajnsielem are about to leave Malta on a trip to Revine Lago in Northern Italy where the Three Kings will officially depart. Revine Lago is a small town with a population of about 2,500 near Venice and has several similarities with Ghajnsielem, including a large living crib. A programme of activities are planned during the 29th and 30th December in this town.

The organisers of Bethlehem f'Ghajnsielem said that last weekend, more than 21,000 people visited the Nativity Village, a new record.

The pageant seeks to replicate, in a live manner, the atmosphere and environs of Bethlehem at the time when Jesus Christ was born over 2000 years ago.

New attractions for this years included a new local crafts area with a section dedicated to mosaic, a new looks for the fisherman's port and a 100 feet suspended rope bridge which the visitors can cross to take a trip along the river on a Maltese boat.

Other traditional attractions include the bakery, the blacksmith, carpenter, the wine tavern, open air market and the Inn.

Each dwelling is inhabited and animated by whole families, to remind everyone that Christmas is a celebration of the family. The tavern offers local food and wine.

A picnic area offers the unique surroundings for a family outing, while oil lamps will be distributed for those who want to visit Bethlehem f'Ghajnsielem by night. Fresh water will be flowing along these structures through a small stream with various water features.

The main attraction is certainly the grotto, with baby Jesus in the caring hands of Mary assisted by Joseph with a donkey and a cow close by.

The Three Kings, also known as the Magi, are regular figures in traditional accounts of the nativity celebrations of Christmas and are an important part of Christian tradition.

The Three Kings will arrive in Malta on Thursday, the 31st of December around 11am. Their first stop will be Mater Dei where they will visit the Children's Ward and the Elderly Ward. The young children are being encouraged to write a letter or prayer to be given to the Three Kings so that they will present it to baby Jesus during the Triumphal Entrance at Bethlehem f'Ghajnsielem on Sunday, the 3rd of January.

Activities will continue on Sunday, the 3rd, when the Three Kings will depart on horseback from Manikata area in Mellieha around 9.30am in the morning. They will visit the elderly home 'Dar il-Madonna' around 10am and at 11am Herod will ask the Three Wise Men to depart to find Jesus and tell him where he was during a reenactment in the main square.

(Thanks to: www.gozonews.com