Carnival Malta 2020

Who Else Wants To Enjoy Il-Karnival Ta' Malta

Date Last Updated: 4th February 2020

Carnival Malta is the oldest historical festival during the month of February, which is usually always held during this time as is the custom.

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.

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.

Three main venues are held across the islands where it is celebrated in the streets of Valletta, Nadur, and Victoria Gozo.

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

This years carnival will be held from Friday 21st February to Tuesday 25th February 2020



Carnival Malta Program 2020
Carnival Malta Program 2020

Competitive Dancing

Date: Friday 21st February 2020
Time: 16:00 - 20:30
Where: St George’s Square, Republic St, Valletta

Opening ceremony at St George’s Square with competitive dancing companies followed by a defilé featuring the King Carnival Float, Grotesque Masks, and other Carnival floats.

Tickets: €5 Bronze | €7 Silver | €8 Gold

Click here to purchase tickets

Children's Carnival

Date: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Time: 09:30 – 11:45
Where: St George’s Square, Republic St, Valletta

Starts at St George’s Square with the participation of a number of children dancing companies together with a defilé. The participation of the King Carnival Float and a number of triumphal floats will also join. The defilé will te=hen continuethrough Republic street up to the early afternoon.

Tickets: €5 Bronze | €7 Silver | €8 Gold

Click here to purchase tickets

Triumphal Floats & Other Floats

Date: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Time: 15:00
Where: St George’s Square, Republic St, Valletta

Starting at St George’s Square with the participation of competitive dancing companies, Triumphal Floats and other floats. The program in St George’s Square ends around 19:00 however the float parade continues along Republic Street up to late evening.

Tickets: €10 Bronze | €12 Silver | €15 Gold

Click here to purchase tickets

Qarċilla

Date: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Time: 16:00 - 19:00
Where: St. John's Street, (Opp. Cathedral), Triq San Gwann, Valletta

The Qarċilla is an irreverant and satirical performance of a mock wedding that has traditionally formed part of Carnival revelry. This year's edition was penned by Ċikku l-Poplu and produced by Joseph Galea. 

Free Event

Hamrun Carnival Malta Parade

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020
Time: 09:30
Where: Saint Joseph High Street, Hamrun

Carnival Parade along High Street, Ħamrun with the partecipation of Carnival Dancing Companies, Carnival floats and the local band clubs.

Free Event

Carnival Floats Parade

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020
Time: 12:30
Where: Castille Palace, Valletta

The parade will be running at the following streets and locations starting at Castille Place, Valletta. The defilé will then proceed Via Granaries, Great Siege Road, Floriana to Ġlormu Cassar Avenue, Castille Place, Merchants Street, Archbishop Street, Republic Street to City Gate.

Free Event

The Parata

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020
Time: 14:00 - 14:10
Where: St. George's Square, Valletta

Also known as the Sword Dance, the Parata is a traditional and historical rendition of the Knights's victory over the Turks. The dance is a joint choreography between the Ħamrun Boy Scouts and Professional dancers from YADA Dance company under the direction of Felix Busuttil Galea.

Free Event

Sunday Carnival Special

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020
Time: 14:00 – 19:30
Where: St George’s Square, Republic St, Valletta

A Carnival show accompanied by a live band, featuring a dance programme by Dance Companies and a parade that includes the King Carnival float, Triumphal floats and other floats. After the show the defilé proceeds along Republic Street.

Tickets: €12 Bronze | €15 Silver | €18 Gold

Click here to purchase tickets

Il-Qarċilla

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020
Time: 14:00 – 19:30
Where: St George’s Square, Republic St, Valletta
This is a free event

This activity will start at St George’s Square and sees the participation of competitive dancing companies followed by a defilé featuring the King Carnival Float, Triumphal Floats and other floats.

Following this activity a defilé will proceed up Republic Street. On Saturday and Sunday afternoon a satiric play knowed as “The Qarċilla” will be held at St John’s Street, Valletta (opposite St John’s Co-Cathedral)

Free Event

Tritoni Carnival Party by Tenishia

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020
Time: 17:00 – 22:00
Where: Triton Fountain, Valletta

A live DJ set featuring Tenishia and various local DJ's at Triton's Square, performing against a setting of Carnival Floats. This will be streamed live on social media, taking Carnival promotion to the next level.

Free Event

Children's Parade

Date: Monday 24th February 2020
Time: 10:00 – 13:00
Where: St George’s Square, Republic St, Valletta

A Children’s Parade with the participation of private dancing schools from both Malta and Gozo as well as Category C companies. Starting at St George’s Square and parading through Valletta, the parade will culminate with a performance by all companies in St George’s Square.

Free Event

Gran Défilé

Date: Monday 24th February 2020
Time: 16:00 – 21:00
Where: Castille Palace, Valletta

A programme of dancing competitions followed by the Gran Defile with the partecipation of a number of Triumphal Floats.Route:  Castille Place, Merchant Street, St George’s Square, Republic Street

Tickets: €7 Bronze | €8 Silver | €10 Gold

Click here to purchase tickets

Children's Parade

Date: Tuesday 25th February 2020
Time: 10:00 – 13:00
Where: St George’s Square, Republic St, Valletta

At 10:00 there will be a Children’s Parade with the participation of a private dancing schools and groups. Starting at St George’s Square and parading through Valletta, the parade will culminate with a performance by all companies in St George’s Square.

Free Event

Competitive Dancing

Date: Tuesday 25th February 2020
Time: 18:00 – 20:30
Where: St George’s Square, Republic St, Valletta

Programme at St George’s Square with the participation of competitive dancing companies, the King Carnival Float followed by a number of dancing companies’ floats. 

Tickets: €5 Bronze | €7 Silver | €8 Gold

Click here to purchase tickets

The Gran Finale

Date: Tuesday 25th February 2020
Time: 18:00
Where: St Anne Street, Floriana

Gran Finale: An colourful exhibition of Carnival floats along Floriana’s main street – St Anne Street which will bring Carnival Malta 2020 edition to a spectuclar end.

Free Event

Different Villages Carnival Malta Program 2020
Different Villages Carnival Malta Program 2020

​Attard Carnival Event

Date: Saturday 15th February 2020
Time: 18:45
Venue: Attard
Organised By: Soc Muz La Stella Levantina AD1894 Banda Santa

​A defilé of grotesque masks and carnival dance groups accompanied by children and a marching band starts from the band club and proceeds through village streets. The parade culminates in Tumas Dingli Square. The activity will also feature the reading of a traditional Maltese Qarċilla and a spontaneous costume competition.

Carnival Parade

Date: Thursday 20th February 2020
Time: 18:30
Venue: Marsa
Organised By: Marsa Local Council​

A Carnival Parade with the participation of 4 band clubs, 10 dance schools, grotesque masks and floats. The parade will take place along Isouard Street and Stiefnu Zerafa Street, culminating in Gan Frangisk Abela Square with a dance programme.

Children's Carnival

Date: Friday 21st February 2020
Time: 09:30 - 12:00
Venue: Ħal Għaxaq
Organised By: Għaxaq Local Council

​Carnival Costume parade from Għaxaq Primary School to the Square and back.

Carnival Spectacle

Date: Friday 21st February 2020
Time: 18:45 - 22:00
Venue: Misraħ il-Knisja, Għargħur
Organised By: Għargħur Local Council​

A Carnival spectacle with the participation of local band, dance and entertainment.

Carnival Spectacle

Date: Friday 21st February 2020
Time: 18:00
Venue: Pjazza Misraħ 4 ta' Settembru, Isla
Organised By: Isla Local Council​

A Carnival spectacle with the participation of various dancing groups including belly dancing and folkloristic group.

Carnival Spectacle

Date: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Time: 18:30 - 22:30
Venue: Parish Priest Mifsud Street, Ħamrun
Organised By: Ħamrun Local Council

​A Carnival spectacle featuring carnival costume competitions, singing and dance.

Carnival Fun Run

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020
Time: 10:00
Venue: Għaxaq
Organised By: Għaxaq Local Council

​A marathon around the village with the participation of athletes wearing Carnival costumes.

Fgura Carnival

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020
Time: 10:00 - 12:00
Venue: Hompesh Road, Fgura (in front of Civic Centre)
Organised By: Fgura Local Council

​A Carnival activity with the participation of various dance schools and local band clubs. Children are encouraged to come in costume.

Dancing Spectacle

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020
Time:
 19:00
Venue: Għaxaq Square, Ħal Għaxaq
Organised By: Għaxaq Local Council

Had-Dingli Carnival Spectacle

Date: Sunday 23rd February 2020
Time: 09:30 - 12:30
Venue: Misraħ Ġuże Abela, Ħad-Dingli
Organised By: Ħad-Dingli Local Council​

Spontaneous Carnival

Date: Monday 24th & Tuesday 25th February 2020
Time: 19:00
Venue: Għaxaq Square, Ħal Għaxaq
Organised By: Għaxaq Local Council

​A unique and traditional Carnival with the participation of Grotesque Masks, floats and costumes.

Nadur Carnival 2020
Nadur Carnival 2020

- An organised event will take place on Sunday 16th February 2020 at 12:00

- There will be the usual spontaneous carnival between Friday 21st and Tuesday 25th February 2020

Questions about Carnival 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.

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.
Tickets: The dance performances of each float company takes place at the Palace Square where one has to buy tickets for the seating around the square.
Parking: You can go to the MCP car park, or find parking in Floriana.

Rabat & Victoria, Gozo

Venue: Rabat Gozo
Location: Independence Square and nearby streets.
Participation: Free for everyone.
Tickets: For the dance performances held at the Independence Square, one has to buy tickets to be seated.
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. Link to program.
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.

Carnival Theme Parties
Carnival Theme Parties

The Brunch Club - Carnival Mexicano

Location: Palazzo Parisio, Naxxar
When: Saturday 15th February 2020
Time: 11:30 - 23:59

Click here for Tickets

Carnival In Space

Location: Esplora Kalkara
When: Saturday 15th February 2020
Time: 10:00 & 11:00

Click here for Tickets

Malta Carnival 2020

Location: Malta & Gozo (Most popular areas are in Valletta and Nadur)
When: Friday 21st to Tuesday 25th February 2020

G7 Presents RIO Logo Carnival Gozo

Location: Aurora, Victoria Gozo
When: Friday 21st February 2020
Time: 22:00

Click here for Tickets

G7 Presents RIO Logo Carnival Gozo

Location: Gozo
When: Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd February 2020
Time: 22:00

Click here for Tickets

Carnival Party

Location: Playmobil FunPark, Birzebbuga
When: Friday 21st February 2020
Time: 18:00 - 20:00

Click here for Tickets

Carnival Matinee

Location: Maxtura Terrace, Xaghra
When: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Time: 16:00

Click here for Tickets

Carnival Xpress 2020

Location: Lazy Pirate Boat Party Malta, Triq Ix - Xatt, Sliema
When: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Time: 18:00

Click here for Tickets

From Grease to Black Eyed Peas Carnival Party

Location: Gianpula, Limits of Zebbug
When: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Time: 22:00

Click here for Tickets

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.