Festival in Malta – level 3
Contestants showed their greasy pole climbing prowess on Sunday as they took part in a traditional festival in Malta. The annual Gostra Festival is held to mark the feast day of Saint Julian, patron saint of the town of the same name, which lies close to the Maltese capital, Valletta.
The 10-metre pole is slathered with grease, attached to a barge and draped at a precarious angle over the harbour. The aim is to run as far up the pole as possible and remove the flags at the end. For some competitors, the style in which they fell off the pole seemed to be slightly more important than reaching the flags. But others showed definite determination while clambering up that greasy pole.
Following the day’s entertainment, as dusk fell, hunters fired rifles over the harbour as a salute to Saint Julian, their patron saint of hunting.
Difficult words: greasy (covered with grease – the animal fat used in cooking), prowess (skill), annual (happening every year), mark (to celebrate), feast (a celebration, party), slather (to spread thickly), barge (a type of boat), drape (to set), precarious (dangerous), determination (being determined – wanting to do something), clamber (to climb), dusk (the time right before it gets dark), patron (a person who takes care of you).
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