Annual Festivals & Traditions in Malta

The Maltese Islands have a number of religious festivities and cultural events that recurringly take place yearly. Festivals and events also take place all year round – everything from religious festivities to world-famous music festivals and traditional village feasts or national holidays to food and wine festivals.

Feasts and Village Festas

Feast days are considered important in Malta and some holy days are actually national holidays. Santa Marija is celebrated in mid-August. Others, such as the harvest festival of Mnarja at the end of June, are steeped in folklore. The most important events to all villages are their individual festas, honouring their parish patron saint. The festa season in Malta consists of a long series of extended weekends, starting from the end of May right through the entire summer and well into September. During this period, during most weekends an event or another is taking place celebrating the feast of its patron saint or other saints revered in different churches.

Religious Holidays

Religious holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, are highly celebrated. Families in Malta tend to be quite close-knit and these holidays are considered a time to strengthen family bonds. Church services play a large role during this time of year and during the Holy Week of Easter, many flock to the churches in great numbers for the ‘seven visits’, the visit of seven churches, to pay homage to the Altars of Repose.

Food and drink are enjoyed in abundance where families prepare large Christmas and Easter lunches; giving thanks for all that they have with their relatives. During these festas the streets are lined with carts, selling a wide assortment of different foods as well as the more traditional sweets and delicacies.

Cultural Events and Festivals

Many cultural events now take place on a yearly basis – such as the below list of events that are now also becoming traditions in their own right.

Alarme!
(February-November)
Carnival in Malta and Gozo
(February or March)
The Mediterranean Food Festival
(March)
Freedom Day
(March)
Holy Week
(April)
Malta International Fireworks Festival
(late April)
Malta International Jazz Festival
(July)
Malta Arts Festival
(July)
The Farsons Great Beer Festival
(late July)
Malta’s Delicata Wine Festival
(early August)
Ceremony of Our Lady of Victories
(September)
Independence Day
(September 21)
Malta International Airshow
(late September)
Notte Bianca
(October)
BirguFest
(October)
Festival Mediterranea
(late October-November)
Republic Day
(December 13)
In Guardia Parades
(almost all year round)