Żejt iż-Żejtun, an event endorsed by the Valletta 2018 Foundation, celebrates the olive picking season and olive pressing for oil. It will be held in Żejtun during the evening of Saturday 23rd and on Sunday morning 24th September. The place name Żejtun, in its original Semitic connotation, signifies the fruit of the olive trees and the cultivated olive tree, synonymous with the Mediterranean and popular since biblical times.
As the place name indicates, olive tree cultivation and its by-products were a prime activity in the South Coast of Malta in the Punic and Roman era with Żejtun at its centre. Over the years, especially with the Arab occupation of Malta at the end of the first millennium, cotton gradually replaced the olive tree. In recent years, olive tree cultivation, olive pressing for oil and its’ association with the healthy Mediterranean diet, have made a comeback. Żejt iż-Żejtun celebrates and commemorates all this.
The event, organized by the Żejtun Local Council, will kick off on Saturday 23rd September at 7:30PM with the ‘Bandu’ announcing the event, which will be followed by a defilé of village folk and farmers on carts carrying the olive harvest for pressing. Drummers and flag bearers in medieval costumes, as well as folk singers and dancers, will be present. Agricultural tools, typical agricultural products and folk art, will be exhibited in the ambience of an old country village and fair. Pride of place will be given to the olive tree. Maltese ftajjar and bread dressed in freshly pressed olive oil will be distributed for free tasting. Olive trees and associated products will be on sale. An audio visual presentation will feature olive tree varieties and their proper cultivation.