Did you know that the Maltese love Christmas and the festive season? Read more to find out what you can expect to experience whilst in Malta over the holidays.
What is the festive season like in Malta?
Although Malta is best known for its hot summers and beautiful beaches, its mild winter months offer just as much activity – with less crowds. The Maltese love Christmas festivities, and you can expect to see ornately decorated streets as early as the end of November.
The capital city of Valletta, which is a short ferry ride away from the Cugó Gran Macina Malta hotel, is one of the most beautifully dressed cities on the island, with intricate decorations, dazzling lights and street music.
The square in front of Valletta’s entrance, Pjazza Tritoni, home to the iconic Triton Fountain, is transformed into Fairyland, a seasonal Santa’s City that offers fun activities for people of all ages. Featuring a seasonal Ferris wheel, this gives visitors the best bird’s eye view of Valletta. There is also an ice-skating rink, carousel, small Christmas market and other rides. Fairyland opens on 8 December and runs until the 6 January 2023.
Other notable events taking place are Santa’s World, a unique Christmas experience located in the central part of Malta, taking place between 7 December and 1 January 2023. There is also The Illuminated Trail, a magical after-dark adventure for all the family, taking place at the mesmerising Verdala Palace gardens, happening between 25 November and 7 January 2023.
Other festive entertainment on the island includes various plays, pantomimes, and concerts, as well as traditional handmade nativity exhibitions (or presepji in Maltese) that capture the scene of the birth of Jesus. Malta, being a Catholic country, is very proud of these exhibitions, and crib building in Malta is said to have started as early as the seventeenth century. If you are visiting over the Christmas period, a trip to one of the hundreds of exhibitions is highly recommended.
We cannot talk about Christmas without mentioning food! Roasted chestnuts are a commonly found street food, and the local drink Imbuljuta Tal-Qastan, which is comparable to hot cocoa, is made of chestnut puree, chocolate, and spices, and is a great way to warm up. For those with a sweet tooth, local Qagħaq Tal-Għasel are baked pastries in the form of a ring that are filled with a soft mix of treacle, semolina and spices, as well as traditional British mince pies, Christmas cakes, chocolate logs and mulled wine, which have stuck firmly in local tradition. After all, Malta was under British rule for over 150 years.
If you will be in Malta over New Year’s, the annual open-air celebration on New Year’s Eve in Valletta is fun for all. The city is transformed into one big party, with beautiful lights, live music & performances, food & drinks, and a wonderful fireworks display over the majestic Grand Harbour. Various private events, exclusive parties and dinner experiences happen all over the island. There is truly something for all tastes.
Should you wish to experience the festive season in Malta, let us help make it memorable. Visit the Cugó Gran Macina Malta website to book your stay now.