Twice a year carnival in Malta 2023

On Malta, the “Carnival ta Malta” has been celebrated in February for centuries. The first records of Carnival in Malta date back to 1535 with the Grand Master Piero del Ponte. The Maltese Carnival is thus one of the oldest documented celebrations in Malta. And it will surprise you: Like us, the Maltese celebrate Carnival in February. However, there is a second carnival in Buġibba in the middle of summer at the end of August from Friday to Sunday with a big 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 is led by the King of Carnival.

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.

When is the carnival celebrated in Malta 2023?

Carnival runs from Friday 17 February to Tuesday 21 February 2023, with street parades a week before at Crafts Village in Ta’ Qali and St Joseph High Street in Ħamrun.

Carnival At Ta’ Qali Crafts Village

Date: 11 February 2023​
Time: 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Location: Crafts Village, Ta’ Qali​


Band Parade And Defilé In Ħamrun

Date: 12 February 2023
Time: to 10:00 am
location: St Joseph High Street, Ħamrun​

Malta’s children’s carnival 2023

Date: 18 February 2023
Time: 9:30 am – 11:30 am
location: St. George’s Square & Republic Street, Valletta​
Price: €5 – €15

In which places is Carnival celebrated in Malta?

Carnival is mainly celebrated in 3 places in Malta, as well as in Buġibba in August. The carnival strongholds are in the capital Valletta, in Nadur on Gozo and in the Gozitan island capital Victoria. The events will take place from Friday the 17th of February to Tuesday the 21st of February 2023. Live carnival is to be held at all 3 venues. The highlight is a magnificent fireworks display on Floriana’s main street. The carnival society publishes a programme for each carnival event every year.

Carnival generally ends on Tuesday with the Arts Council Malta choosing the most creative carnival costume. In Buġibba and Marsascala, there has also been a small but nice summer carnival for a few years now.

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 market place 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.

Hotels, guesthouses and Airbnb are usually fully booked months in advance for the island of Gozo over Carnival. The only option after attending the carnival in Nadur or Victoria is to either sleep on the beach or return by ferry to Valletta or ferry Cirkewwa. It is said that more than 40,000 enthusiastic carnivals flock to Gozo at carnival time.

Costumes and dancing at the Carnival in Malta

Political gloating hardly plays a role in the Maltese Carnival. Carnival in Malta gets a new theme every year. Just like fireworks and rowing, the Maltese localities enter competition mode for the most beautiful homemade costumes and the most fantastic floats.

The weather during the carnival season

Temperatures are often between 14 degrees and 18 degrees during the day at this time of year. With sunshine, a few hours a day above 20 degrees are also possible. At night, 10-13 degrees are common. Intermittent rain is also not uncommon for a few minutes in mid-February. Pleasant temperatures to visit Malta on the great carnival days.

What temperature is expected in Malta in 2023?

Like the last four years, the temperature during the day will be between 16 and 22 degrees. In the late evening and at night, meteorologists expect between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius.

For more events to enjoy at Carnival in Malta, check out the WoM Events Calendar with 101+ event ideas.