The annual Carnival in Malta and sister island Gozo is one of the oldest historical festivals dating back to the Knights’ of St John’s occupancy in Malta.
This year Carnival Week in Malta takes place on Feb. 21-25. The five-day celebration is one of the most colourful events in the Maltese and Gozitan calendars. Traditionally preceding Christian Lent, Carnival provides five days of revelry with Carnival-goers dressing up in colourful costumes and covering their faces with masks.
The heart of the action takes place in Valletta, Malta’s capital, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the European Capital of Culture 2018. The fun starts with a procession of extravagantly coloured floats and enhanced by children running around in fancy costumes. The celebrations continue in Malta’s main nightlife centre, Paceville, catching the late-night Carnival-goers who pile into the clubs and bars, still wearing their outrageous outfits.
However, visitors should not miss the colourful celebrations that take place in various towns and villages across the Islands, each having their own version of festivities. For a particular interpretation, Carnival goers can visit Nadur, Gozo, where Carnival takes on a more macabre and funny mood.