Thirteen days after the Catholic Christmas, on the 7th of January the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas in accordance with the Julian Calendar.
The celebration of Russian Orthodox Christmas in Malta for many years has been one of the most significant events in the Russian-Maltese cultural calendar. The event brings together members of the Russian community, their Maltese families and friends.
According to the established tradition, this celebration of Orthodox Christmas is held in the Russian Chapel at San Anton Palace. Once again, this year the President of Malta kindly accorded her patronage to the celebration which was held on Tuesday, 9th January 2018.
President Emeritus Dr. Ugo Mifsud Bonnici and Mrs. Mifsud Bonnici, the Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Dr. Carmelo Abela and Mrs. Abela, the Hon. Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Dr. Owen Bonnici, members of the Diplomatic Corps and Honorary Consuls, representatives of the business community as well as the Russian diaspora, other distinguished guests were present at the celebration.
Addressing the audience, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Malta Mr. Vladimir Malygin emphasised the importance of this occasion for further strengthening bilateral cultural relations between Russia and Malta. The Ambassador also noted that in 2017 the two countries celebrated a significant date in their mutual history – the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca delivered a welcome address whereby she stressed the importance of Christmas as a time for family reunions and the preservation of family traditions in the various cultures of peoples like in Russia and Malta.
The highlight of the evening was a performance by a Russian accordionist Friedrikh Lips, who is also an author and professor of music at the renowned Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow.
The concert repertoire featured a variety of classical works and Russian folk music, which was acclaimed and appreciated by all those present.
The event was organized by the Embassy of Russia Federation to the Republic of Malta and the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Valletta under the Distinguished Patronage of Her Excellency President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.
The concert was sponsored by the Maltese-Russian Friendship Foundation and the European Foundation for Support of Culture.