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Events and Feasts on Malta sorted by month

Online since: 17. Mai 2013

Karneval in Malta

There are 14 official public and national holidays in Malta, on which most shops and businesses are closed. Malta is known for its boisterous feasts, which usually end with spectacular fireworks. As the Maltese are very religious people, each community and parish celebrates the day of their patron saint with a so-called ‘festa’. Most of them take place between May and September and allow visitors to gain insight into the traditions and folklore of the Maltese people. The exact date varies from year to year. The dates given here are a rough guideline for those festas. Often, the Maltese celebrate for the entire weekend. Please ask at the local visitors’ centre for more information if you are interested.

January

All over the island, gun salutes are performed on the morning of 1st January to welcome the new year. But except for New Year’s Day (public holiday), January is rather calm in Malta, and there are hardly any events happen during this months. That is partly due to the bad weather and partly due to the fact that only very few tourists are on the islands at this time of the year.

February

The middle of February is carnival in Malta. The entire island parties, but you will find the biggest party in Valletta. Large, colourful floats, costumes and stalls with sweets create a boisterous party atmosphere everywhere.
10 February – Feast of St Pauls Shipwreck and public holiday. There are celebrations in Valletta, St Paul’s Bay and Munxar.
The Malta Marathon takes place at the end of February. With more than 3,000 participants, it is the most popular sport event of the year and attracts athletes from all over the world. The start is in Mdina, the former capital of Malta, and the finish line is in Sliema.

March

17 March – St Patrick’s Day is celebrated worldwide, no matter if you are Irish or not, and all Irish pubs on Malta are packed that day.
19 March – Feast of St Joseph and public holiday. Events in Rabat last for the entire weekend and end in magnificent fireworks.
22 March – the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (Id-Duluri) is celebrated in many communities on the Friday before Good Friday. Many Maltese will participate in the long processions walking barefoot. The most famous procession can be seen in Valletta at the church of Our Lady of Jesus, and is well worth the experience.
31 March – Freedom Day (Jum il-Ħelsien) and national holiday. Most events take place in Vittoriosa, the site of the historic events, and a regatta is organised in Grand Harbour.

April

The end of March/beginning of April is Easter (Maltese: Rxoxt, "rschoscht"). The Easter week is celebrated very traditionally in Malta, with many processions on Good Friday and Easter Monday. The processions in Qormi are particularly worth seeing. Altars are also lavishly decorated. The most beautiful altars can be seen in Three Cities (Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua).
From 3-7 April, the Tour Ta Malta, a major cycling event on Malta, takes place. The 207 km race is divided into several legs throughout the main island.
Begun in 1990, the Gozo-Malta Triathlon takes place every April. The start is usually in Gharb (Gozo) and the finish line is in Birzebbugia (Malta).
Our tip: On 26, 28 and 30 April, the Maltese celebrate the Malta Fireworks Festival in Marsaxlokk, Mellieha and in the Grand Harbour close to Valletta. International participants of the pyromusical competition stage gigantic fireworks for several hours each evening.

May

1 May – Workers’ Day and public holiday. Major festival in Birkirkara
3 May – Holy Cross, feast in St Helen’s church in Birkirkara
3 May – St Joseph Hamrun, feast in St Cajetan’s parish church
5 May – Our Lady of Liesse, feast in the church of Our Lady of Liesse in Valletta
6 May – St Augustine, feast in St Augustine’s church in Valletta with fireworks
22 May – St Rita, processions in memory of St Rita of Cascia in Valletta
27 May – St Paul, feast in Munxar on Gozo
27 May – The Annunciation Festa, feast in Tarxien

June

2 June – Corpus Christi. Festivals in Gozo, especially in Rabat, are highly recommended because of the beautiful setting.
2 June – St Joseph Festa in Ghaxaq
3 June – Holy Trinity, feast in the church of the Holy Trinity in Mosta.
7 June – Sette Giugno and national holiday. In memory of the victims of the bread riots on 7 June 1919, against the occupying British troops, memorial ceremonies take place on the Palace Square in Valletta and in Xagħra, Gozo.
7-9 June – Għanafest in the Argotti Gardens in Floriana. This festival treats its visitors with excellent Maltese and Mediterranean folk music.
9 June – St Antony of Padova, feast in St Antony’s church in Birkirkara
10 June – St Philip, feast in Zebbug
23 June – St Johns Bonfire, fireworks to honour the patron saint’s feast of St John’s co-cathedral in Valletta, according to an old tradition of the Order of St John.
29 June – L-Imnarja. The 300-year-old light festival to honour St Peter and St Paul starts on 28 June in the Buskett Gardens near Rabat with lots of music, dance and typical Maltese food. Holy services are officiated and a donkey and horse race takes place from the Saqqaja Hill to the centre of Rabat.

July

For volleyball fans, there are beach volleyball games and tournaments all summer long in Golden Bay. This time is also high season for sailing regattas organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club and the Viking Sailing Club.
30 June to 14 July – The Malta Art Festival shows what Malta has on offer, with the best of its theatre, dance, music and art. Most events happen in Valletta.
1 July – Our Lady of Lourdes, feast in Qrendi
1 July – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, feast in Sliema. The feast is celebrated from Thursday to Sunday at the Seafront, with Maltese brass music, fireworks and street traders.
1 July – Festas in Rabat, Hamrun, Luqa and Fleur de Lys.
6-8 July – Festas in Balzan to celebrate Annunciation, in Kirkop and Kalkara to celebrate St Joseph, in Fgura and Gzira to celebrate Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and in Kercem on Gozo to celebrate Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
15 July – St George, big feast with fireworks in Victoria, Gozo.
15 July – St Sebastian, feast in Qormi
15 July – Our Lady of Holy Doctrine, feast in the temple town of Tarxien.
18-20 July – Malta Jazz Festival in Ta’ Liesse
21-28 July – Festas, festas, festas! There are festas almost everywhere at the end of July, and we say ‘everywhere’ for different reasons:
People celebrate the Visitation in Gharb (on Gozo), and various saints around the islands: St Joseph in Zebbug and Mdina; St Verena in the town of St Verena; Our Lady of Pompei in Marsaxlokk; St Anna in Marsascala; Our Lady of Sorrows in St Paul’s Bay; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Valletta, Mdina and Zurrieq; Christ the King in Paola, and St Dominic in Valletta.
27 July to 5 August – Ten-day Farsons Great Beer Festival in the park of Ta Qali. Among other things, you will find live entertainment with local singers, food and a large selection of beer, of course.

August

4 August – St Peter, feast in Birzebbuga
4 August – St Joseph, feast in Qala, Gozo
6 August – The Transfiguration of our Lord, feast in Lija with fireworks
9-12 August – Delicata Wine Festival in Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta. There is a large wine cellar, which is open throughout the year. The wine festival marks the beginning of the grape harvest in Malta.
10 August – St Lawrence, feast in Vittoriosa
11 August – St Lawrence, feast in San Lawrenz, Gozo
15 August – Feast of the Assumption is celebrated in Għaxaq, Gudja, Ħ Attard, Mosta, Mqabba and Qrendi on Malta, as well as in Victoria in Gozo. Assumption Day is a public holiday.
25 August – Festa in the former fishing village of St Julian’s, one of the most interesting and wildest parties of the year. As of Friday, the the saint after whom the town is named is celebrated with many stalls and grand fireworks.

September

Start of the horse races at the Race Track in Marsa; the season lasts for 36 weeks.
2 September – St Gregory, feast in Sliema.
8 September – Victory Day/Feast of Our Lady of Victories (Jum il-Vitorja) and national holiday. On the evening before the national holiday, there is a festival on the peninsula of Vittoriosa (Three Cities) and on the following day a small regatta in the Grand Harbour.
21 September – Independence Day (Jum l-Indipendenza) of Malta and national holiday.
28 September – Notte Bianca in Valletta. Exhibitions and theatre, dance and music shows take place in various venues and on the streets. Stalls provide visitors with food and beverages.

October

6 October – St Francis of Assisi, feast in Sliema.
6 October – Lady of the Rosary, feast in Gudja and Tarxien
10-13 October – Mdina Grand Prix
From 6-16 October, various historic festivals take place , in the three historic towns of Valletta, Mdina and Vittoriosa. In Birgu/Vittoriosa, there is a festival with processions (Birgu Festival). The Mdina Festival, with its historic costumes and parades, is also beautiful to watch.
14 October – Our Lady of Good Health, feast in Rabat
19-26 October – Rolex Middle Sea Race, a high-level regatta in the Grand Harbour.
25 October to 17 November – The Festival Mediterranea in Gozo, with operas and other shows, marks the beginning of the theatre season in Valletta and Victoria/Rabat (Gozo). It lasts until the end of May. Historic and archaeological guided tours are also offered during the festival, along with various other entertainments.

November

31 October to 3 November – Malta International Choir Festival in Valletta.
10 November – On St Martin’s Day, Maltese children traditionally receive a bag full of fruit and nuts. In Baħrija near Rabat, the people celebrate their festa with a parade.

December

8 December – Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Il-Kunċizzjoni)
13 December – Republic Day (Jum ir-Repubblika) and national holiday
25 December – Christmas Day (Il-Milied)

S. Wagner & A. Seiler



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