Celebrate Malta Carnival twice 2022
Also in Malta, the Carnival ta’ Malta has been celebrated in February for centuries. First records of the carnival exist since 1535 with the Grand Master Piero del Ponte. The Maltese Carnival is therefore one of the oldest documented celebrations in Malta. The Maltese celebrate the carnival in the end of February. However, in the middle of summer at the end of August, from Friday to Sunday, there is a second carnival in Bugibba with a great parade.
The Knights of Malta already celebrated carnival in Malta in February
In the times of the Knights of Malta and the Knights of St. John, the decorated galleys passed through the Valletta Grand Harbour during Carnival. Later, the ships were replaced by carnival floats. The carnival procession in Malta is led by the King of Carnival.
The carnival in spite of COVID-19
Usually, parade floats are painted and decorated in extravagant colours. The special Malta costumes are splendid and colourful. And the music is accompanied by choreographed dance shows. Music from brass bands and children walk around the streets in fancy costumes. Night owls then often find themselves in Paceville in the clubs and bars. Carnival in every city from Malta is considered one of the most colourful events in the Maltese calendar.
Due to the pandemic, things won’t be quite as colourful in 2022. As in 2021, many villages and towns will skip carnival events totally. In 2021, a virtual carnival parade was broadcast on TVM2
When is carnival celebrated in Malta in 2022?
Carnival will be held from Friday, February 25 to Tuesday, March 1, 2022. No one can currently say if Carnival will be celebrating in Malta 2022. As of January 10, we know that instead of the big and famous Maltese Carnival events, an alternative cultural program will take place. However, the organizer Festivals Malta indicates that the street parades will be cancelled. Also in 2021, the carnival events were streamed online because of COVID-19 and the celebrations. Carnival floats, left as static installations in public places such as roundabouts, were parked in public places as backdrops.
In which places are the carnival celebrated in Malta?
In Malta, Carnival is celebrated mainly in 3 places. Firstly, in the capital Valletta, Carnival in Nadur on Gozo and in the Gozitan island capital Victoria. The festival will take place from Friday, 25th February to Tuesday, 1st March 2022. In all 3 places, the carnival takes place live. The highlight is a magnificent fireworks display on the main street of Floriana. Each year, the Carnival Society publishes a program for each carnival event.
Carnival always ends on Tuesday with the Arts Council Malta choosing the most creative carnival costume. In Buġibba and Marsascala, there has been a small but nice summer carnival for several years.
Carnival in Valletta
Valletta is considered a carnival stronghold, as well as Floriana, which is located outside the city gate. In Valletta, the carnivalists with their costumes will take place near Parliament in Freedom Square, St. George’s Square and Great Siege Square (next to the Law Courts). The Valletta Carnival parade is one of the most atmospheric on the island.
Carnival in Gozo – However, the carnival capital is Nadur
On the island’s capital, Victoria, the carnival is held in the marketplace it-Tokk. Nadur on Gozo is a village, so the carnival events can be experienced on all the streets there. The carnival in Nadur is considered particularly popular and has a long tradition. In Nadur, the carnival is also called “Il-festa tax-Xitan” (Feast of the Devil).
Therefore, the carnival in Nadur is celebrated in a very macabre and sarcastic way. The carnival celebration is said to reflect the earlier times when rural life on the small, sun-drenched island was considered very hard. Therefore, in Nadur you will find especially the locals veiled, as well as dressed up in creepy masks and costumes. On YouTube, there are some interesting videos from recent years, like the one from the Nadur Spontaneous Carnival 2020.
The hotels, guest houses and Airbnb are usually booked up months in advance for this time, so after the visit, you have to return by ferry or your own boat. It is said that over 40,000 enthusiastic carnivalists flock to Gozo at carnival time.
Costumes and dancing at the Carnival in Malta
Political gloating does not really play a role in the Maltese Carnival. Carnival in Malta gets a new motto every year. As with the fireworks and rowing, Maltese localities enter competition mode for the most beautiful home-made costumes and the most fantastic floats.
What are the temperatures and weather like during the carnival season in Malta?
Temperatures are often between 14 degrees and 18 degrees at this time of year. Under sunshine, even a few hours a day above 20 degrees are possible. Intermittent rain is also not uncommon for a few minutes in mid-February. Pleasant temperatures to visit Malta during the great carnival days.