Carnival Malta 2023

Who Else Wants To Enjoy Il-Karnival Ta' Malta

Date Last Updated: 17th January 2023 - Added Carnival Program

Carnival Malta is the oldest historical festival during the month of February, which is usually always held during this time as is the custom. Three main venues are held across the islands where it is celebrated in the streets of Valletta, Nadur, and Victoria Gozo.

This is one of the most popular events during February in Malta amongst other events being held during this month.

Table of Contents - Carnival Malta 2023

when is Carnival in Malta 2023?

  • Friday 17th to Tuesday 21st February 2023
A carnival float in VallettaCarnival Float in Valletta

Carnival 2023 Malta Program

Carnival at Ta’ Qali Crafts Village

Carnival activities at Ta’ Qali Crafts Village include a street parade, carnival floats, grotesque masks, and various stands by local artisans.

  • Date: 11 February 2023​
  • Time: 4:30pm – 7:30pm​
  • Location: Crafts Village, Ta’ Qali​
  • Price: Free

Band Parade and Defilé in Ħamrun

A defilé along St Joseph High Street, featuring three marching bands, grotesque masks, carnival floats and Guggen Music Band.

  • Date: 12 February 2023
  • Time: 10:00am onwards
  • Location: St Joseph High Street, Ħamrun​
  • Price: Free

Carnival Day 1

A programme featuring competitive dances by Dance Companies from Sections D, B and A, and a parade with the participation of King Carnival, featuring Dance Company Floats Section A and Triumphal Floats Section C.

  • Date: 17 February 2023
  • Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
  • Location: St. George’s Square & Republic Street, Valletta
  • Price: €5 - €15

Children’s Carnival

Children’s Carnival at St George’s Square, featuring the participation of private dance schools and Dance Company Section C, and a parade by King Carnival, Dance Company Floats Section A, and Triumphal Floats Sections C and D. The parade will then continue along Republic Street, Valletta.  

  • Date: 18 February 2023 
  • Time: 9:30am – 11:30am​
  • Location: St. George’s Square & Republic Street, Valletta​
  • Price: €5 - €15

Il-Qarċilla

A live theatrical performance of Il-Qarċilla, the traditional farce synonymous with Carnival, penned by Ċikku l-Poplu and directed by Joseph Galea.

  • Date: 18 February 2023 
  • Time: 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm​
  • Location: St John Square, Valletta​
  • Price: Free

Carnival Day 2 (afternoon)

A programme at St George’s Square, featuring various dance companies, together with Dance Company Floats Section A and Triumphal Floats Sections A and B, as well as Grotesque Masks. The parade will then continue along Republic Street, Valletta until late in the evening.

  • Date: 18 February 2023 
  • Time: 4:00pm – 7:00pm​
  • Location: St. George’s Square & Republic Street, Valletta
  • Price: €7 - €10

Ballu Tritoni

A grand celebration at Triton Square featuring various local DJs.

  • Date: 18 February 2023 
  • Time: 7:30pm onwards​
  • Location: Triton Square, Floriana​
  • Price: Free

Carnival Day 3 (morning)

Dance competitions at St. George’s Square, with the participation of Dance Companies from Sections D and B. In the afternoon Triumphal Floats Sections C and D will parade along Valletta’s Main Roads, starting from the Granaries (Floriana), Great Siege Street (Floriana), Girolamo Cassar Street, Castille Square, Merchant’s Street, Archbishop Street, Republic Street and Freedom Square.

  • Date: 19 February 2023 
  • Time: 10:00am – 12:30pm​
  • Location: St. George’s Square & Main Roads Around Valletta, Valletta​
  • Price: €7 - €15

Il-Qarċilla

A live theatrical performance of Il-Qarċilla, the traditional farce synonymous with Carnival, penned by Ċikku l-Poplu and directed by Joseph Galea.

  • Date: 19 February 2023 
  • Time: 3:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm​
  • Location: St John Street, Valletta​
  • Price: Free

Carnival Day 3 (afternoon)

A programme at St George’s Square, featuring competitive dancing by Dance Companies from Sections A and C, with the participation of King Carnival, Dance Company Floats Section A and Triumphal Floats Sections A and B, and other items. The parade will then continue along Republic Street, Valletta until late in the evening.

  • Date: 19 February 2023 
  • Time: 3:00pm – 6:15pm​
  • Location: St. George’s Square & Republic Street, Valletta​
  • Price: €10 - €18

Ballu Tritoni

A grand celebration at Triton Square featuring various local DJs.

  • Date: 19 February 2023 
  • Time: 7:30pm onwards​
  • Location: Triton Square, Floriana​
  • Price: Free

Carnival Day 4 (morning)

A dance show at St George’s Square featuring several dance schools and groups.  

  • Date: 20 February 2023
  • Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm​
  • Location: St. George’s Square, Valletta
  • ​Price: €5

Carnival Day 4 (afternoon)

A parade with Carnival floats along Valletta’s Main Roads including Castille Square, Merchant’s Street and Republic Street Valletta, followed by a defilé with Triumphal Floats Sections A, B, C and D in St George’s Square Valletta.

  • Date: 20 February 2023 
  • Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm​
  • Location: St. George’s Square & Main Roads Around Valletta​
  • Price: €7 - €15

Carnival Day 5 (morning)

A dance show at St George’s Square featuring several dance schools and groups. 

  • Date: 21 February 2023 
  • Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm​
  • Location: St. George’s Square, Valletta​
  • Price: €5

Carnival Day 5 (afternoon)

A dance show at St George’s Square featuring Dance Companies Sections A, B, C and D. 

  • Date: 21 February 2023 
  • Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm​
  • Location: St. George’s Square, Valletta​
  • Price: €7 - €15

Ballu Tritoni

A grand celebration at Triton Square featuring various local DJs.

  • Date: 21 February 2023 
  • Time: 7:30pm onwards​
  • Location: Triton Square, Floriana​
  • Price: Free

Carnival Gran Finale

A grand exhibition of carnival floats, together with various carnivalesque items, parade along St. Anne’s Street, Floriana until late evening.

  • Date: 21 February 2023 
  • Time: 6:00pm onwards​
  • Location: St Anne Street, Floriana​
  • Price: Free

Program by Festivals Malta

Disclaimer: On our website you will find affiliate links from which we make a small commission.

Carnival Events & Parties in Malta & Gozo

Masquerade Carnival Edition

  • Venue: Infinity by Hugo’s, Triq Santu Wistin, St. Julian's
  • When: Friday 17th February 2023
  • Time: 20:00
Buy Tickets From Here

G7 Friday carnival - gozo edition

  • Venue: Gozo Conference & Expo Centre, Triq ir-Repubblika, Victoria, Gozo
  • When: Friday 17th February 2023
  • Time: 22:30
Buy Tickets From Here

the gozo aurora carnival weekender

  • Venue: Gozo Conference & Expo Centre, Triq ir-Repubblika, Victoria, Gozo
  • When: Friday 17th February 2023
  • Time: 22:30
Buy Tickets From Here

Carne Vale Il Gran Ballo In Maschera

  • Venue: Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta
  • When: Saturday 18th February 2023
  • Time: 19:30
Buy Tickets From Here

elevated carnival – Heroes & Villains | gozo edition

  • Venue: Gozo Conference & Expo Centre, Triq ir-Repubblika, Victoria, Gozo
  • When: Saturday 18th February 2023
  • Time: 22:30
Buy Tickets From Here

Samba

  • Venue: Magazino Hall, Valletta Waterfront
  • When: Sunday 19 February 2023
  • Time: 20:00
Buy Tickets From Here

Carnival In Malta Locations

Carnival in Malta is always celebrated at the following locations. For this year it is slightly different. Please follow the program above.

Capital City, Valletta

  • Venue: At the capital city Valletta which is the biggest celebration on the islands
  • Location: Performances / stage / seating area – Palace Square in Republic Street
  • Valletta Defile: It starts from the road leading to Auberge de Castille moves along Merchant Street, turns to Archbishop street, then to Republic street where it continues all along up to the Triton Fountain outside of Valletta fortification walls.
  • Floriana Defile: Grand final is held on the last day in St Anne's Street.
  • Participation: Free for everyone along all the streets while the defile is in progress.
  • Parking: You can go to the MCP car park, or find parking in Floriana.
A float in Valletta during carnival in Malta during FebruaryColourful Float during a Parade in Valletta

Rabat & Victoria, Gozo

  • Venue: Rabat Gozo
  • Location: Independence Square and nearby streets.
  • Participation: Free for everyone.
  • Parking: Around the streets of Rabat or in its vicinity.

Nadur Village, Gozo

  • Venue: Nadur village, Gozo
  • Location: Main village square
  • Program: There us a variety of activities from children to adults.
  • Parking: Nadur might be closed, so you will need to find parking around the outskirts of Nadur or some parts where it will be open.

Transport for both Rabat and Nadur: If you are coming from Malta you have to prepare to come early with the ferry. Be prepared to queue for the boat for quite some time.

malta february carnival map

A woman dressed in a carnival costume in Malta

Questions about Carnival in Malta

When is Carnival celebrated in Malta?

Carnival Malta is always celebrated before Ash Wednesday. It always starts the Friday before till the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.

What is Malta's popular sweet during Carnival?

During carnival you will find what is called a Prinjolata coming from the word Prinjol meaning Pine Nuts. It is a famous delicious Maltese dessert cake especially prepared for these occasions.

Where is Carnival Malta celebrated?

There is the Valletta Malta carnival. You can also go to Gozo where you can visit the village of Nadur which is popular for its spontaneous carnival. At Rabat Gozo there are also a full program of activities along the five days of the activities.

What does Carnival mean?

Carnival is a festival that happens yearly, always before Lent commences. It is a festival where people dress up in colourful costumes.

What is the meaning of Carnival?

The name carnival is derived from the Italian phrase ‘Carne vale’, which means ‘meat is allowed’. Since up to the day before lent meat could be consumed, then during the forty days of lent, meat was not consumed during meals.

What is the weather like during the month of February?

February is a very cold month so thick warm clothes are recommended. Normally during the carnival season it tends to rain so umbrellas and rain coats are recommended.

See a more detailed look at the weather in Malta in February.

The carnival Malta defile in Republic Street Valletta

Carnival Costumes Malta

There are many shops in Malta that offer carnival costumes. Visit their store or see what they have online.

You will notice several people especially children dressed in fancy costumes and adults impersonating popular characters attracting the attention of the crowd making the atmosphere livelier.

Here are some suggestions

floats during carnival

It is well expected by numerous enthusiasts, cause for several months before artistic companies prepare their extravagantly artistic coloured floats which are erected on lorries and trailers, costumes and dances.

It is a deep traditional merry making aspect of the population that attract your attention with their artistic imagination and colours apart from the mingling of ideas interwoven within the same float.

In the evening during the defile’ another aspect of the floats emerge when they are lit up with LED lighting changing the dimension of the float to a different atmosphere of colours.

Take the opportunity to enjoy these occasions with your family especially with your children.

The origins of Carnival

Carnival Malta dates back to the time of the Knights of St. John when Grand Master Pietro de Ponte in 1535, just five years when they arrived in Malta making this festival almost 500 years old. It is always held during the week just before Ash Wednesday.

It is also said that back to the early 1400 carnival was celebrated locally. There are records showing directives issued by the Universita’ authorities about the prices of meat to be sold during carnival.

But then during the time of the Knights it started to be held officially at Birgu since the knights had their Auberges and administrative buildings located here.

Nadur Carnival Gozo

Nadur Spontaneous Carnival is held every year attracting around 25,000 visitors especially youths who come over from Malta.

The most popular is the spontaneous defile’ held after sunset where everyone can participate and dress in all sort of costumes made up from any materials to imaginative ideas.

The streets are thronged with people wearing funny, grotesque masks to macabre masks and costumes.

Enjoy this page? Share It On Social Media!


want to rent a car in malta?

We have used Discover Cars every time we rented a car. We highly recommend them due to their good service and good prices.

Book your car now!

need to book a hotel for your malta visit?

Using Booking.com, enter your travel dates and number of occupants then rates will be available for hotels and apartment during your visit in Malta 

See Malta Hotels on Booking.com


Avatar By Albert and Benjamin Magro