Mqabba has always been synonymous with the art of pyrotechnics. Fireworks in the Feast of Our Lady of the Lilies, manufactured by locals are documented way back to the second half of the 19th century. With the founding of the Society in 1911 whose main duty was and still is to organise the Feast in Honour of its Patroness Our Lady of the Lilies the Feast in Honour of its Patroness Our Lady of the Lilies and spreading the Marian cult throughout the whole community, the fireworks group adopted a more formal status. Early in the 20th century Lily Fireworks had already acquired the fame of one of Maltaâ€™s leading Fireworks Producers.
At that time, works were being carried out in small old rooms in the village periphery. Since the amount of fireworks for the feast was increasing, these rooms were becoming more and more inadequate. A late benefactor willed to donate a piece of terrain outside the village as a site for the new Fireworks Factory. In a relatively short period of time, the new factory was completed and in 1964 was officially inaugurated. Now, Lily Fireworks had become equipped with a spacious and modern building, adequate for its exigencies.
Lily Fireworks is mostly renowned for the introduction of new techniques and innovations in pyrotechnics. This is witnessed by the immense crowds, both Maltese and foreign who visit Mqabba each year for the Feast of Our Lady of the Lilies, celebrated in mid June. Some of the most recent inventions which the Factory boasts are the Blue Fountain Driver, the Blue Go-Getters and the Blue flash report, which since their launching have remained unique despite the many imitations produced by competitors all over the island. It was Lily Fireworks who introduced the spectacular electronically simultaneously fired fireworks displays to Mqabba and Malta in the late 1970s and for several years was the only Maltese Fireworks Factory producing them.
Lily Fireworks holds the record of the longest sequentially fired salute display ever to be produced. This was fired in the Feast of 1967 and lasted nearly one hour. It is the leading producer of ground fireworks in Malta and is well known for the superb excellence of its traditional cylindrical multibreak colour shells. Lately, Malta Post P.l.c chose Lily Fireworks to display some of its works on a set of postage stamps exclusively featuring fireworks. This fact is of great fulfilment to the members and is undoubtedly a confirmation of the brilliant reputation and overwhelming popularity. Recently, the Lily Fireworks has extended its links overseas. Groups of Fireworks experts from around the globe, each year pay visits to the Factory and carefully follow the detailed Maltese production procedures.
Aerial fireworks display includes; â€˜murtalettiâ€™ (a more sophisticated unique Maltese timed reports cylindrical shells, range of shell size varies from 5 inches up to 12 inches), â€˜lampjunâ€™ (lampare), â€˜sfejjerâ€™ (spider web shells), â€˜blalenâ€™ ( spherical ball shells), design shells (patterns), â€˜beraq prontâ€™ (accurately timed reports shells), â€˜beraq ma jidhruxâ€™ (invisible timed reports), â€˜prexxexâ€™ (electrically-fired spectacular displays), â€˜murtali tal-kulurâ€™ (multibreak colour shells), and â€˜kaxxa infernaliâ€™ (fireworks battery).
The main appointment of Lily Fireworks is without any doubt the Eve of the Feast of Our Lady of Lilies. Lily Fireworks has become very renowned for Pyromusical Displays, now powered by MerlinFire Digital Firing Systems, bought from Merlin Studio Ltd., Brno of the Czech Republic . This was a step forward of fundamental importance since Ing. Pavel Matula has offered the utmost of his knowledge in this field of pyrotechnics to members of Lily Fireworks and MerlinFire Malta. Of special mention is last yearâ€™s pyromusical display bearing the theme â€˜Waltzing Firesâ€™ which proved to be one of the best choreographed pyromusical displays in the Maltese islands.
After the aerial display, a unique ground firework â€˜maltese irdiedenâ€™ display is given. This branch of pyrotechnics makes use of a blend of sophisticated mechanisms and fireworks devices with the end result being a number of artistic designs. The ground firework section has long been praised as one of the best in the Maltese islands. This year, Lily Fireworks participated in the National Ground Fireworks Competition. Lily Fireworks won three out of four categories namely; originality, the category for the least possible gears in the mechanical system with best effect and the award for the best pyrotechnics according to public opinion, the Lily Fireworks was declared overall winner of the competition.
With regards to ground fireworks displays, Lily Fireworks has produced a number of innovations which are still unknown to most of the fireworks community enthusiast in Malta. Needless to say that coloured drivers in pink, blue, aqua marine, lime and violet for instance are only seen in Malta during our feast.
By conserving what is traditional in character but regularly updating itself with modem techniques and constantly experimenting new possible ways, the Lily Fireworks Team has granted itself a most prominent position in the history of Maltese Pyrotechnics. The elder's experience together with the young's energy and reciprocal unity are essential ingredients constantly required by the Lily Fireworks Team to encounter and get over future challenges in its domain.
Lily Fireworks Committee 2012 / 2013
Licensee: Kevin Saliba
Chairperson: Benny Briffa
Secretary: Ellen Farrugia
Treasurer: Alessio Briffa