The Quccija celebrates a baby’s 1st birthday. At the Quccija guests consisting of relations and close friends are invited by the parents to their home. When the guests are assembled the child is brought in and if it is a boy he is traditionally presented with a tray containing corn, sweet meat, coins, an inkstand, a candle, a rosary, a book, a sword and other toys. If the child is a girl, needles, silk ribbons and an egg take the place of the sword and the inkstand. Nowadays other items are included on the tray such as a stethoscope, a computer, a calculator and such like.
The choice the baby makes on this occasion is believed, according to Maltese tradition, to give an idea of his future disposition and the profession which the child will follow. For example, if the child chooses corn it is a sign of a liberal character. If the inkstand is picked out it points towards an inclination for trade or the bar. If the choice falls on coins, commerce or industry is indicated. The choice of an egg means that the girl will have a house full of furniture and children.
It was a pleasure to see Will and Caroline, and their 1 year old, Drew, who we had not met before. They have moved into the Surrey countryside so it was our first visit to their new home in Hindhead, where they have taken on the derelict ground floor of a substantial old property and have spent the last year making it habitable. After having no garden in London they now have extensive grounds, and though today’s weather wasn’t conducive to exploration, Sue and I did spy a grassy tennis court that will entice us back to this lovely spot.
The afternoon’s ‘formal business’ found Drew, encouraged by his elder brother and sister, choosing most of the toys on the tray – the modern boy must keep his options open, perchance – but he did keep returning to the coins, for what it’s worth.