Lija (Maltese: Ħal Lija) is a small village in the Central Region of Malta. It forms part of the Three villages of Malta, along with Attard and Balzan. Lija has a baroque parish church and seven other small chapels. The parish church is dedicated to Our Saviour and is currently undergoing an extensive restoration project in order to save priceless art work and Calì paintings that are found surrounding the church's ceilings. Lija became a parish in 1594, after the small community detached itself from the neighbouring town, Birkirkara. It has a population of 3,070 as of March 2014.
Lija is mostly known for its fireworks displays that attract thousands of locals and tourists during the festa period held in the first week of August. These displays are very well renowned and claimed to be the best around the island. The Lija fireworks team also won an international fireworks competition held in Monaco back in 1980. In 2006, the Lija fireworks factory placed second in a Fireworks festival organised at the Grand Harbour in Malta's capital, Valletta.
Lija also hosts the Maltese Citrus festival, held each year.
Lija has several old houses of character and large citrus gardens. The Lija Belvedere Tower and Villa Francia are a main attraction. The official University Residence of the University of Malta is also situated in this village.
Lija Athletic F.C. is the village's football club. This club has been promoted to Malta's Premier (highest) Division for three times in its history. Considering the small size of the village and the resource and financial limitations, this was deemed to be a huge success by local sport enthusiasts. Lija Athletic, with the collaboration of the Local Council inaugurated a new synthetic pitch on July 6, 2007 (Jum Ħal Lija or "Lija Day"). This pitch is situated in the village's primary school grounds. This year, 2009, the Club is celebrating its 60th Anniversary since its foundation.
British author Anthony Burgess, whose works include A Clockwork Orange, resided in Lija for three years (1968-1970). At Lija there is also Villa Parisio, where politician Mabel Strickland, daughter of Lord Gerald Strickland, lived.
Lija Local Council
The current Lija local council members are:
- Magda Magri Naudi(Mayor, PN)
- Stephanie Cutajar(Deputy Mayor PN)
- Massimo Scerri (PN)
- Dr Marc Sant (PL)
- Lorraine Farrugia (PL)
- St. Pius X Band and Society Club (Is-Soċjetà Mużikali Banda San Piju X)
- Ħal Mann (Mann Town)
- Ta' Bajdun
- Ta' Seguna (Seguna's Village)
- Tad-Daħla (Entrance Village)
- Tad-Daqqaq (Cotton Worker's Village)
- Tal-Mirakli (Miracles' Village)
- Wied Lija (Lija Valley)
- Triq Annibale Preca
- Triq Carmelo Farrugia
- Triq il-Forn
- Triq il-Kbira (Main Street)
- Triq il-Mosta (Mosta Road)
- Triq Robert Mifsud Bonnici
- Triq Sant' Andrija
- Triq Sant' Antnin (St Anthony Street)
- Triq Sir Ugo Mifsud
- Vjal it-Trasfigurazzjoni (Transfiguration Avenue)
- Triq Gużeppi Portelli