Gostra is a traditional game played in Malta where people climb up a greasy pole to pull out a flag and win a prize.

  • Gostra dates back to the Middle Ages
  • It was practiced all through the festive summer months
  • The pole is 10 meters long, sticks out over the sea, and only half of it is covered in grease
  • Each of the three flags on a gostra pole has a religious meaning
    1. The blue and white flag of the Madonna
    2. The yellow and white Vatican standard
    3. The Belgian tricolor representing the ancestral homeland of St. Julian
  • Each flag represents a special prize for whoever can reach them



“BIONs” – short for Believe It or Not – is the word we use at Ripley’s to refer to anything that is unbelievable and worthy to become part of Ripley’s lore and collection.