Annual festivals in Malta

What are the most popular festivals?

Annual festivals in Malta

Malta has numerous religious and cultural festivities throughout the year and the warm Mediterranean climate makes it even more enjoyable. Here is a short overview of some traditional festivals in Malta.


Għanafest is a Maltese folk festival that is held every year in June in Floriana. It isn’t associated with the country of Ghana, but rather with traditional folk music, known as Għana in Maltese. It’s a wonderful three-day event that can be celebrated with the whole family. Try Maltese food, and enjoy the programme of Maltese musicians and dancers. Għanafest also host workshops on traditional instruments and there’s a special programme for children as well.

Notte Bianca

Notte Bianca festival is held in September and lights up the cityscape of Valletta with performers, culture and arts during the night-long and celebration in the capital of Malta. Typical of many Mediterranean countries, the “White Night” festival encourages people to explore Maltese culture.

Museums and state palaces open their doors until late in the night and host dance performances, visual art exhibitions and theatre performances. Streets and squares are turned into open-air concerts. Not only museums extend their hours, but also many cafes and restaurants will be open until late with food stalls. Notte Bianca will definitely guarantee you a memorable night that holds something for everyone.

Festival Mediterranea

Festival Mediterranea is held on the island of Gozo. Music concerts are held but also international conferences, art exhibitions, and tours to historic places. Visitors to the Festival Mediterranea have this great opportunity to get to know more about the temples of Gozo.

Village Festas

Throughout the summer and into September, festas or festivals are held in each town and village to celebrate their Patron Saint. This traditional festival can’t be missed when visiting Malta. Churches are lit up, villages are decorated and each Patron Saint is honoured. Moreover, there are fireworks, bands and street stalls.

Holy Week & Easter

Holy Week and Easter are considered to be the most exciting times of the year in Malta, because the Maltese culture comes alive. During Easter, churches are decorated with flowers, ornaments and colors. Holy Week starts with processions in Valetta and many other towns and villages.

The “Seven Visits” occur on Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Good Friday) when people visit seven churches to pray.

Good Friday sees more processions, though of a very sombre nature. Statues depicting the Passion of Christ are paraded in the streets, and churches are stripped of their decoration.

The mood changes on Easter Sunday when bells are rung to announce the resurrection of Christ and music and parades return a statue of the risen Christ to the church.


As in any other country, Carnival week is held in February and the most exciting activities take place in the capital of Malta, Valletta, however many villages and towns in the country have their own version of festivities.

Coloured floats are ready for the procession that carry colourful dolls, bands play music and children and adults show off their fancy costumes.

Paceville is the main nightlife centre where expats can experience Carnival and enjoy the bars and club in their Carnival costumes.

Further reading

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