Malta has always been a very religious country so Christmas has always been a very special holiday for the Maltese. It is a time to celebrate Christ and family gatherings, much like North America.
There are many events happening on the Rock during the festive season. Rest assured, everyone is very festive this time of the year. Decorations on the Rock are something everyone looks forward to. They are something many Maltese take pride in preparing. All households, as well as hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, and even streets and public spaces, are decorated for the festive season. You will find Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Christmas Cribs (mangers) and other decorations in every part of the Island. In some instances, houses are completely lit up and highly decorated with massive Christmas ornaments and a waterfall of Christmas lightings!
The Town Crib Competition
The town crib competition is one of the many festivities during the Christmas season. During the first two weeks of December, the town Priest and a couple of judges will go to every house that wishes to take part in the Crib competition. During the midnight Mass, the Priest will name the winner of the Best Crib in Town! As a child, Angele remembers a time when her grandmother took part in it and it was very exciting for the whole family!
Midnight Mass is another Catholic tradition that remains on the island. On Christmas Eve, families gather together and go to the Midnight Mass. There is usually a performance by the choir first. Most of the time this is a musical about the Birth of Jesus Christ. Many children take part in this musical tradition.
Christmas Day is the day everyone looks forward to. This is the day where families gather together and either go out for lunch or have lunch at home together. Every family has its own traditions. Many prefer to stay at home and prepare the Christmas Lunch for the whole family. These lunches usually take place at the grandparents’ homes where all the family gets together. After lunch, families share in giving gifts to each other.
Christmas day is a whole day celebration. A time to reflect and celebrate Christ, spend time with family and possibly with friends.
True to the Christain religion, it is one of the most celebrated holidays, and in Malta it is no different!