Malta sits deep in the Mediterranean, a small island boasting a rich heritage and a stunning array of traditional events and festivals – in fact, a celebration can be found almost every week! The wide range of Malta events have something to offer everyone, whether your interests lie in Malta’s fascinating history, taking in its diverse and beautiful art collections, or simply in sampling the distinctive and mouth-watering local cuisine.
Valletta’s Saluting Battery
The Saluting Battery dates back to the 16th Century, and in its long life it has seen use as a military position as well as being an important ceremonial part of Malta’s history. Today the great guns fire twice daily, at 12pm and 4pm, to mark the passage of time.
Sitting at one of the highest points in Malta, the Saluting Battery is open to visitors every day, and commands magnificent views across the Grand Harbour and beyond.
Village Festas: Immerse Yourself in Tradition
In Malta, each village celebrates its own patron saint, which means that – especially during the summer months – there is always a festival nearby! Village Festas transcend their religious roots to become THE day of the year for the locals.
The day is filled with traditional Maltese band music and parades, and the evenings with the irresistible combination of food, drink and fireworks.
Carnival, the Maltese Way
Whilst Brazil may lay claim to the title of Carnival Capital of the World, as a traditionally Catholic country, Carnival on the islands is one of the biggest Malta events.
The Maltese people celebrate the beginning of Lent with a festival that delights visitors as much as it does locals.
In Valletta, local float builders compete vigorously to craft the most vibrant, eye-catching floats for the parade, while the parade itself is a party on a grand scale, which moves into Valletta’s exciting clubbing scene in the evening.
Those in search of the craziest party around might think about taking the ferry across to Gozo and joining the celebrations in the village of Nadur. During Carnival, the village witnesses a massive invasion of young people in a spectacular array of costumes, and each reveller is determined to make every drink count! Be aware, though: attending this party is not a spur-of-the-moment affair. The ferry to Gozo has limited capacity, as do local hotels and hostels, so plan well ahead for the experience of a lifetime!
The Malta International Fireworks Festival
Everyone loves a firework display, and each April, the expert firework-makers of Malta showcase their work at the International Firework Festival.
They are joined by professional pyrotechnic artists from further afield to create a truly dazzling display, culminating in the Grand Finale at Barriera Wharf in Valletta.
For the ultimate experience, see the festival from a boat or from the upper barracks.
L-Imnarja Summer Folk Festival
Dating back even beyond the Maltese Knights’ arrival on the island, the ‘Festival of the Light’ takes its roots from the solstice bonfires that burned throughout festivities.
Today, the centre of events is located in Buskett Gardens, where numerous picnics, free-flowing wine and an evening filled with live acoustic music create a merry atmosphere to enjoy with friends and family.
The festival is a perfect opportunity to gain insight into Malta’s unique heritage, and to experience vital aspects of Maltese culture firsthand.
Live the Past in Medieval Mdina
Mdina is an astonishingly well-preserved bastion city, with a history dating back well over a thousand years.
The Medieval Festival transports visitors right back to the Middle Ages, including the heady days of the famous Knights of Malta. Historical exhibitions and a falconry display are also on show in the Old City.
Taking place in the wistful heart of spring, the city becomes an oasis of flowers and local music drifting down the streets.
It is one of the most remarkable events in Malta and offers a taste of Maltese heritage that no visitor will ever forget.