Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Traditional Maltese Games

Below you will find some of the games we play during our break and free time. The great majority of these games were at the height of their popularity about fifty years ago, when most of the Maltese families were unable to afford toys and the streets were traffic - free. We still enjoy playing them very much today.

Bocci (Marbles) - The jack ball is usually a different size marble ball. One team plays with red balls, the other one with blue. The object of the game is to get your team’s balls as close to the jack as possible. Rules do change and vary from team to team, so it’s worth watching a few games before trying your luck. But sometimes we also make our own rules to play the game.

Bum Bum Il-bieb (Knock Knock the door) - This game is played by a group of four or more girls facing a group of the same number of boys. We dance and chant this 'Bum Bum il-bieb' song until the time when one of the girls’ name is called out and chosen to go with the boys’ group and pretend to be taken to the Knight.

Il-Passju (similar to 
 is a game and here’s how it’s played. A chalk grid is drawn on the road, with boxes for the numbers 1 to 9. Each child picks a stone or pebble and then has to throw their stone onto each numbered square, starting at number one. Once the stone lands on the correct number, the player then has to hop onto the corresponding square. Once that has been achieved, then the player moves onto the next number. If the player fails to aim the stone into the correct box, then that player is “out” and the game moves onto the next player. The winner is the player who successfully gets to number 9 before anyone else.

Iz-zunzana ddur (The bee goes round) - This game can be played with any number of children. The more, the merrier! The children must sit on the floor in a big round circle facing each other, except one. This one (the bee) starts running round and round the circle while the others are singing. In his hand he must hold a soft ball, a piece of cloth, or anything that’s handy at the moment that will not hurt a child if thrown. At the end of the song the bee must drop the ball behind someone else and keep running. He who has the ball nearest to him must collect it and run after the bee. This guy is now the hunter whose purpose is to catch the bee. The bee must reach the vacant space left by the hunter before it is caught. If the bee is caught, the hunter returns to his place and the game continues. If the bee manages to sit down before it is caught, the hunter now becomes the bee and the games starts all over again.

The Magpie Flies by Lisa Hirth
The magpie flies isn’t a Maltese game, but it is very fun!
      You can be any number of players and any age. You have to sit in a circle and put the finger you point with in the middle. There is a leader who says for example; the donkey flies. If the animal the person names can fly you point your finger up, but if it can’t fly and you lift your finger the others have to tickle you!(The leader can lift their finger to trick the others!)
Posted By Ms.Maryanne's class

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