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malta

TRADITIONAL FESTIVALS

5 Traditional festivals in Malta

This selection is based on both personal experience and reviews by others. We did not list the 10 most popular events, we made sure that every pick in the list has something unique to offer. It's important for us to show you what the party scene looks like but the main goal of this list is to make sure you experience Malta in the best way possible by not missing out on its hidden gems.

5 Traditional festivals in Malta


Carnival

Carnival is an enormous event in Malta and has been celebrated since the 15th century. Valletta is not just the European capital of culture 2018 but also the capital of Maltese carnival. Also the island Gozo takes a huge part in the celebration. All the streets are flooded with people, colors and cultural traditions like music, food and dance. The Parata dance - for example – is a traditional dance, originated in 1565, which you will see on the streets. This tradition started off during the celebration of the victory against the Turks during the Great Siege of 1565. Also every party venue will organize events for the many Maltese and international carnival celebrators in both Gozo and Malta.


Holy Week

The holy week is a yearly traditional event in Malta and starts exactly a week before Good Friday. Its one week long and there are religious practises throughout the country. On Friday they start with carrying a statue of The Lady of Sorrows through the streets of Valleta and other villages of Malta. Nearly all Maltese people go to church on the Sunday in the Holy Week.


Mnarja

Mnarja is one of the most important festivals on the Maltese religious agenda. It's a national festival where the Maltese celebrate the rules of the old Maltese Nights. Of course there is food and music involved. Mdina, Rabat and Buskett are cities where this feast is celebrated mainly. Traditionally recently wed brides would to Mnarja for luck in their full wedding gown. Unfortunately this practice has become rare.


The Assumption of our Lady

The Assumption of our First Lady is also one of the major festivals in Malta. Streets lit up and are decorated, churches are open to visit and fireworks close of the day. The Assumption of our First Lady has the same origin as the Parata dance: The Great Siege of 1565, where the Maltese defeated the Turks. The highlight of this day is the Regatta Boat Race where competitors race through the Grand Harbour. This makes Attard the place to go for this event.


Christmas

Christmas in Malta is a big happening, the many churches and chapels have a agenda with lots of events. Those events range from the procession of Mary and Joseph to carol singing by candlelight. The number of cribs you can see by houses or in chapels and churches is overwhelming, many locals go 'crib visiting' during Christmas. But the churches and chapels are not the only place to celebrate Christmas. Hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs all participate in this festival.