Holy Week and Easter – What’s going on in Malta in 2023?

Holy Week and the upcoming Easter celebrations start already in the evening before Palm Sunday. Some cathedrals and churches begin the colorful processions. With rain-free spring days, temperatures around 20 degrees and plenty of sunshine, Malta offers a lot during Easter week:
  • Obstacle course, swim run and fun run
  • 21st International Fireworks Festival
  • Popeye Village Easter Spectacular
  • The International Tour ta’ Malta (cycling race)
  • “Bring It Back” – the Easter special in the biggest disco in Malta
to name a few excerpts from WoM Event Calendar 99+. By the way, Easter Monday is not a holiday.
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Malta Easter, Easter customs and vacations 2023

At Easter in Malta, among all the other sights, the fantastic Easter processions starting from Holy Week are an unforgettable spectacle. They start in 2023 on April 1 and are finished on Easter Sunday. (Easter) Monday is not a public holiday in Malta. Famous are the processions on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday or Easter Sunday in Victoria on Gozo, Qormi, Mosta, Valletta, Zebbug and Birgu Vittoriosa. Participants carry life-size wooden biblical figures during the processions. During the Easter season, Malta’s churches are decorated and colorfully lit in the evening. Some celebrations are televised on Xejk TV, Radju Katidral and Gozo Cathedral FB.

What are the Easter customs in Malta?

The first processions take place on the Saturday before Palm Sunday, for example in the capital of Gozo, the Assumption Cathedral. In Palm Sunday, the faithful are blessed with palm leaves and olive branches in churches and cathedrals. In Maundy Thursday, the “seven visits” take place in seven different churches. Some parishes hold a procession afterward. Good Friday is when most processions take place. During the Passion of the Christ, participants dress up as biblical characters. Men carry a large wooden cross and wear or pull chains tied to their legs. Easter Sunday begins with the morning ringing of church bells. They announce the resurrection of Christ. The processions through the streets that take place on Easter Sunday are accompanied by musicians. They often last more than two hours. Children receive chocolate-covered Easter eggs and a figolla. Figolla, an Easter pastry filled with almond or marzipan, is shaped like a rabbit, lamb, fish or other figures associated with the Catholic faith. It was then a gift at the end of Lent.

5 extraordinary Easter celebrations of Malta.

Zebugg on horseback during the procession

The procession in Zebbug the Romans on decorated horses attract the attention of spectators. Soldiers in armor, biblical figures and children with symbolic objects are accompanied by the village chapel and scout groups.

When is the procession in Birgu Vittoriosa?

Traditionally, men drag chains in the Good Friday procession. Under the Knights of St. John, slaves converted to Christianity were allowed to participate in chains in Rabat and Vittoriosa. The Passion of Christ is re-enacted on Easter Sunday with a costume festival during the Easter procession.

What is Easter like in Qormi?

On the afternoon of Good Friday, a life-size statue is carried through the village from the church in Qormi. Maltese people take part in the procession dressed in costumes and vestments. They re-enact the Passion of Christ and scenes from the Bible.

How does Mosta celebrate Easter?

Mosta is worth a visit. Mosta’s rotunda, built in 1871, is 39 meters in diameter and is the fourth-largest church dome in the world. Only St. Peter’s Basilica and the Pantheon in Rome and Florence Cathedral are larger. After going to church on Holy Thursday, the tomb is uncovered for the Easter custom. The faithful then visit seven churches to pray.

What is special about the Easter celebrations in Xagħra?

In the village of Xagħra in Gozo, celebrations take place on different days. On Easter Sunday, at noon, the Easter celebration opens with folk singing, dancing and traditional Maltese cuisine. In the evening, the celebration in honor of Christ starts at Xaghra Square from 18:00. At 7 pm begins the parade “Jien Issa Haj” held in the village square.

When do the Malta processions start on Sunday?

8 am – 9 am Naxxar, Rabat (Gozo) 9 am – 10 am Bormla, Gharghur, Gzira, Luqa, Paola, Qormi, Rabat, Senglea, Zebbug 10 am – 11 am Birgu Vittoriosa, Fontana (Gozo), Nadur (Gozo), St. Julians, Zejtun 11 am – 12 pm Qala (Gozo), Rabat (Gozo) 5 pm – 6 pm Sliema, Zebbug (Gozo) 6 pm – 7 pm Birkirkara, Birzebbugia, Gharb (Gozo), Kalkara, Mosta, Valletta, Xaghra (Gozo)

FAQs - Do you have questions about Easter in Malta? We give you the answers!

Sunny, rainless, a little windy and between 16 and 20 degrees. Swimming in the sea is already possible.
Good Friday and Easter Sunday are public holidays in Malta. Easter Monday is a regular working day in Malta.
Holy Week in Malta begins on Saturday 09.04.2022 with processions in some villages and towns. The Easter period ends on Easter Sunday, 17.4.2022.
Are you missing a question about Easter in Malta? Get in touch with us. We are sure we have the right answer.