Carnival in Malta

Carnival in Malta dates back to the early 1400s. Encouraged by the Grand Masters of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (1530-1798), Carnival declined in the 19th century but managed to live through the period of British rule (1800-1964) and has thus been handed down in an almost unbroken tradition of about six centuries.

It represents a colourful event, in which people from all walks of life participate. Carnival in Malta takes up five days before Lent. Traditionally this was the time to indulge and feast before sobering up for the 40-day fast which in Christian and Catholic tradition preceded the Resurrection of Christ.

During the carnival days, Valletta bursts at the bastions with phosphorescent carnival floats. These floats are the mainstay of the Maltese Carnival. Massive cardboard structures, painted in an explosion of screaming colours, start their route at Floriana on the outskirts of the capital, enter Valletta’s main gate, then commence a slow parade through the principal streets.

The “city built for gentlemen” turns into the “City of Fools” for the carnival days. Prizes are awarded for the best artistic dances, costumes, floats and grotesque masks.

Before the Second World War, the floats often represented local political figures. In the 1920s and 30s the caricature of political figures often led to tense situations that induced the Government to ban such customs from future editions of Carnival. The Maltese Carnival does not, however, consist only of these floats. People, especially the kids, dress up in nice costumes and go with the stream or watch the fracases from a static point. This year Valletta was full of little Spidermen, Batmen, Supermen, princesses and fairies, but also Egyptian Sphinxes, knights and clowns.

Throughout the five days of merrymaking, numerous activities take place throughout the island. Dance groups and band clubs also perform for the joy of the thousands of carnival fans, were they carnival fanatics, families enjoying the spirit of carnival or just tourists who happen to be there on that day.

 

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New Website Launched

July 27, 2014July 27, 2014
Newswebsite Honorary Consul General Mr. Godwin E. Bencini today announced that the Honorary Consulate for the Slovak Republic in Malta has launched its new website. This website is aimed at brining together the Slovak community in Malta, inform them of the Honorary Consulate's work and act as a bridge between Slovakia and Malta. Mr. Bencini encourages all Slovaks, both in Malta and abroad, to engage with this website, share their views and participate in the consulate's affairs.