As the Christmas Holiday festivities return in full bloom to Malta, an archipelago in the Mediterranean, visitors can experience all the excitement of the Maltese national traditions. Malta, and its sister islands of Gozo and Comino, with its year-round sunny weather, offer visitors a perfect destination to end the year and ring in the new one.
When visiting Malta during the Christmas season visitors will see nativity scenes or cribs on every street corner. Cribs are an important and popular part of the Maltese tradition during Christmas. Presepju or cribs in Maltese, differ from traditional nativity scenes. Maltese cribs include Mary, Joseph, and Jesus with a landscape that portrays Malta in often rocky stones, with Maltese flour, windmills, and ancient ruins.
A spectacular walk through the pathway of one of Malta’s National Gems, the Verdala Palace, features hundreds of new larger-than-life lantern-illuminated sculptures, light installations, projections and much more.
Pjazza Tritoni in Valletta will be transformed into Santa’s City this Christmas from December 8th to January 6th, 2023. With attractions back by popular demand, from Rudolph’s Wheel, to give you the best bird’s eye view of Valletta, to an ice-skating rink for anyone looking to test their skills, or learn some new ones. In addition to the rides and attractions, visit the Christmas Market where visitors can get all their stocking fillers and indulge in a variety of traditional Maltese food and drink options.
Santa Claus, together with his elves, will be in residence at Fairyland, ready to meet children from all over the world and even get a head-start on delivering gifts. Fairyland guarantees visitors a magical outing for all members of the family. At Santa’s City, enjoyment for everyone is essential, so this year there will also be a World Cup Village for all of the international football (soccer) supporters to come together and cheer on their favorite team while enjoying a beer, festive drinks and good food.
For more information and tickets will be available on www.visitmalta.com.
Malta’s capital Valletta, the 2018 European Capital of Culture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, provides visitors at this time of year a colorful and spectacular display of Christmas lights. Republic Street and adjacent side streets are given a festive makeover with a mosaic of colorful light designs. Every year there is an official ceremony to turn on the festive lights by the Minister of Culture.
The iconic St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta is worth visiting at any time of year. However in the weeks leading up to Christmas, St. John's hosts a series of candlelit carol concerts and processions which are guaranteed to get visitors in the festive spirit.
Food plays a big role in the holiday season in Malta. Today the traditional Maltese Christmas menu includes turkey/pork, potatoes, vegetables, cakes, puddings, and mince pies. A real specialty is the Maltese Christmas Log, a tasty combination of crushed biscuits, condensed milk and a number of different festive ingredients.
Located on on the fields known as Ta’ Passi, just off the church of Għajnsielem in Gozo, this Maltese crib has captivated the world’s attention as an authentic and passionate representation of the nativity story that captures the imagination and can be experienced on many levels. The biggest attraction is the grotto with the Madonna, St. Joseph and the Baby Jesus. Every year it draws an estimated 100,000 visitors, from Maltese to tourists who take the opportunity to visit Gozo during the Christmas holiday.
This 60 foot steel Christmas tree is decorated with more than 4,500 glass bottles!
Other Highlights of Gozo’s Winter Calendar 2022:
The sunny islands of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, are home to a most remarkable concentration of intact built heritage, including the highest density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in any nation-state anywhere. Valletta, built by the proud Knights of St. John, is one of the UNESCO sites and the European Capital of Culture for 2018. Malta's patrimony in stone ranges from the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world, to one of the British Empire's most formidable defensive systems, and includes a rich mix of domestic, religious and military architecture from the ancient, medieval and early modern periods. With superbly sunny weather, attractive beaches, a thriving nightlife and 7,000 years of intriguing history, there is a great deal to see and do.
For more information on Malta, visit www.visitmalta.com.
Gozo's colors and flavors are brought out by the radiant skies above it and the blue sea which surrounds its spectacular coast, which is simply waiting to be discovered. Steeped in myth, Gozo is thought to be the legendary Calypso's Isle of Homer's Odyssey – a peaceful, mystical backwater. Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dot the countryside. Gozo's rugged landscape and spectacular coastline await exploration with some of the Mediterranean's best dive sites.
For more information on Gozo, visit www.visitgozo.com.
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