Events in Malta

Events in Malta

Events in Malta Globalair Travel can organise guided tours for your groups programme and also tickets, if required, to any of the under mentioned events.

The Baroque Festival (January)

The Baroque Festival was developed as a celebration of the aristocratic grandeur of Valletta, Malta’s baroque capital city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Festival takes place in January with top international baroque musicians and ensembles performing in various events and in wonderful baroque and historical venues throughout its two week musical extravaganza in Valletta.

Malta Carnival (February)

Maltese Carnival (Il-Karnival ta’ Malta) has been a part of the Maltese culture for nearly five centuries , since the arrival of the Knights of St John in 1535 but some studies even date the first carnival revelry back to the year 1470. Carnival is celebrated over a 5 day period in February with the main events taking place in Valletta but some towns and villages also organise their own smaller version of these festivities. In Gozo the main festivity is in Nadur. Many of the local carnival enthusiasts have inherited the art and skill of carnival float-building through their forefathers and ancestors and would spend up to a whole year in preparation to be able to participate and proudly compete in the carnival parade. Celebrations include fancy dress parties , dance competitions and a parade of hundreds of symbolic floats, with dancers in elaborate costumes partying aboard, presided over by the King Carnival float which is considered to be the best and most beautiful of them all. Both adults and children dress up in all sorts of funny or weird costumes during these celebrations and go out and mingle with the floats.

The Malta Marathon (February / March)

The Malta Marathon is a yearly event taking place in late February / March that attracts about 4,000 athletes from all over the globe taking part in either the full or half run marathon. Both races start from the old city of Mdina and wind through the country roads and towns to reach the Finish Line at the ‘Sliema Strand’. A third race category is the Endo Walkathon (21 kms) which is a walk-jog-run-race. Like in every marathon, you will see some athletes adding to the fun of it by wearing some great light-hearted costumes for their run.

The Opera Festival (March)

The Opera Festival held in March every year is hosted at The Manuel Theatre in Valletta and features both local and foreign performers. The Manuel Theatre built in 1731 by the Knights of St John is considered to be the third oldest working theatre in Europe and the oldest theatre still in operation in the Commonwealth of Nations. The operas have been well-known ones such as Falstaff, La Traviata, La Nozze di Figaro and Il Barbiere di Seviglia.

Good Friday Processions (Easter time - March / April)

Good Friday is celebrated in the churches around the island with an afternoon service and afterwards processions are held in various villages with life-size statues. Each statue representing a particular episode in the Passion of Christ is taken out of the parish church by a group of bearers in a procession around the village streets. The procession will be accompanied by the village band and scouts groups as well as Roman soldiers wearing armour , biblical characters and children carrying symbolic items. These Good Friday processions ,which started to be organised as early as the 16th century , are held in various towns and villages across Malta and Gozo.

Fireworks Festival (April / May)

The Malta International Fireworks Festival is an annual event held at the end of April to commemorate Malta’s accession into the European Union on 1st May 2004. The spectacular displays over a three day period take place in Valletta’s grand harbour and other locations. The expertise of the Maltese in fireworks is put to the test when local aerial pyrotechnic talent competes with international firework companies from all over the world to bring visitors spectacular pyrotechnic performances accompanied by music.

The Maltese Village Feasts (May to October)

The Maltese village feasts are all a big part of the local culture and central village life which has been going on for many generations. There are over 60 festas held in Malta and Gozo between the months of May and September. Each festa is a 4 day celebration held to celebrate and to show the level of devotion of the village people to their respective patron saint and will include band marches , colourful lights , processions , confetti throwing, firework displays , street stalls and street parties. The streets of the village are decorated with statues and banners dedicated to their saint. The ceremonial highlight of any festa is the carrying of the heavy life-size religious statues which is usually accompanied by a roaring crowd cheering them on. The feasts in Malta and Gozo are religious celebrations organised by the local parish. The facade of the parish church of the village is extravagantly decorated and lit up in hundreds of coloured light bulbs which make it look breath taking.

Ghanafest (June)

Ghanafest is Malta’s folk music festival which takes places over a few days in June every year. In the recent past , folk has been experiencing a revival the world over thanks to efforts by young musicians. This festival, apart from being part of this revival, is also a celebration of Malta’s folk music heritage and the diversity of Mediterranean and world music add to the rich and interesting program of Ghana, Maltese bands and international world music acts. Ghana (folk music) comes in different forms with each having its own characteristic and this festival has helped to create awareness while keeping this old Maltese tradition alive. The festival takes visitors to different locations and into the heart of Malta’s oldest villages.

The isle of MTV (June / July)

The Isle of MTV is the largest free open-air music festival in Europe and is organised annually on one day in late June or July. This music festival attracts over 50,000 people and is held at The Granaries in Floriana. World-class International superstars of the music industry that have performed at the Isle of MTV festival include : Madonna , Lady Gaga ,Snoop Dog , the Black Eyed Peas , Enrique Iglesias , David Guetta ,Shaggy , Kelis , and Scissor Sisters. Malta’s own very best Maltese bands and singers will also perform. The show is broadcast on the MTV network. There will be other official events connected with the Isle of MTV throughout that whole week.

Malta International Jazz Festival (July)

Malta International Jazz Festival is a three day long festival held in July at the waterfront location of Ta Liesse in Valletta. Various top international and Maltese music legends have played at this event including : Diana Krall ; Mike Stern ; Joe Zawinul ; Cubanismo ; Nathalie Cole ; John Schofield ; Betty Carter ; Herbie Hancock ; Brad Mehldau ; Chick Corea ; and Michel Petrucciani. Visitors can enjoy some local delicacies sold at the many food and drink stalls while enjoying an eclectic mix of jazz styles from the current musical scene.

International Arts Festival (July)

The Malta International Arts Festival held in July every year is a celebration comprising a wide variety of art forms such as theatre, dance, music and arts. This festival gives an opportunity to both well established and also emerging Maltese artists to showcase their work and talent and engage with wider audiences. It also hosts well established foreign acts. The events include virtuoso music performances, visual installations, dance, and international acts. Most of the activities, performances, and exhibitions are focused around Valletta and the festival features both international and local talent.

The Malta International Air Show (September)

The Malta International Air Show is organised annually in September at the Malta International Airport and other locations. The show hosts many aircraft both civil and military that come from all over the world offering some spectacular and impressive aerial displays and also static shows of the huge range of planes and helicopters while on the ground.

Notte Bianca (September / October)

Notte Bianca is held annually in the autumn ( September or October ) and lights up the cityscape of the whole of Valletta from City Gate to Fort St Elmo with a spectacular nocturnal celebration of people, culture and arts. This nightlong arts and culture event will see the capital’s streets and cultural venues come alive with theatres , palaces , museums , historical buildings and art galleries staying open almost through the entire night. To complete the full cultural mix there will be visual art exhibitions and also some dance and theatre performances in the state palaces and museums while the open air piazzas and streets will play host to some of the finest local and international musicians and dancers. This event is considered to be the largest cultural event held in Valletta which in 2018 will be the “European Capital of Culture”.

Birgufest (October)

Birgufest is a three-day event taking place in Birgu (Vittoriosa) in October with the purpose of highlighting by Candlelight the beautiful architecture and the rich heritage of this old city which is one of the oldest in Malta. The city is decorated for the occasion and the streets are lit up with a gentle glow by thousands of candles. There will be a good number of food stands offering Maltese delicacies and other food. Visitors can also see a Knights of St John and World War II re-enactment. For those that love art and music there will be various musical concerts ranging from classical to modern and various exhibitions making this truly a feast to be enjoyed by all ages.

Malta Classic Mdina Grand Prix (October)

The Malta Classic Mdina Grand Prix comprises three exhilarating events: the Malta Classic Hill Climb, the Malta Classic Concours d’Elegance, and the Malta Classic Grand Prix. Over the four day program held in October each year the event offers all classic car collectors the opportunity to display some of their true automotive gems. They can also participate in timed sprints and demonstration runs beneath the imposing bastions of Mdina. The event brings to Malta some of Europe’s finest classic cars to race wheel to wheel. Over 70 pre-1976 classic cars participate in this event with the oldest car being in the region of 90 years old.

The Malta International Choir Festival (November)

Malta International Choir Festival is held in the odd-numbered years every November and runs over four days. The festival has a competitive side, as well as a non-competitive programme and is spread over several beautiful venues ranging from theatres to churches and several other public places in both Malta and Gozo. Normally no less than 35 choirs composed of over 1,000 choristers participate in this event hailing from different countries from all over the world. A big majority of these choirs will also participate in one or more of the competitive categories, that is, sacred or secular. Another important aspect of the festival is the pedagogical part which takes place in the form of workshops or masterclasses.