The Maltese people celebrate Carnival for 5 days leading up to Lent. It is a time for silliness, dressing up, and colorful floats. Adults and children fill the streets wearing masks and brightly colored costumes to celebrate this annual event.
The tradition has references dating back 6 centuries. It became more popular in the 1500s by the Knights of St. John. Locals and visitors alike come to celebrate Carnival. This colorful winter tradition with five full days of programming includes parades and dance competitions that lead up to the grand finale parade. My mother, to this day, enjoys her memories of Carnival as a child.
The name Carnival comes from the Italian language “Carne Vale,” which means “meat is allowed.” A fitting name for the event leading up to Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.
Maltese people celebrate carnival in towns across the Island. The main events are in Valletta, with the finale parade in neighboring Floriana on the main Island. In Gozo, Nadur hosts popular programming as well as Victoria.
Paceville, the place for nightlife, is alive with bars filling up with costumed participants continuing their celebration.
2020 February 21-25
2021 February 12-16