Date Last Updated: 11th February 2021
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.
This is the official program from Festivals Malta.
A competitive exhibition of 24 carnival costumes which were specifically designed for Carnival 2021 Malta. Although the beauty of these garments cannot be enjoyed in motion, they can still be enjoyed for viewing up close in this exhibition at Spazju Kreattiv.
Disclaimer: Temperature will be taken at the door. Cases with flu-like symptoms will be refused entry. Masks are to be worn at all times and social distancing must be respected.
Competitive artistic installations that were designed and produced by Carnival participants. Due to the pandemic, these static installations have replaced the traditional Carnival floats for this year’s extraordinary edition.
A variety of street installations designed by illustration artists, all produced by carnival participants.
An online three part mini-series hosted by Sarah Grech (Wardrobe Supervisor at Teatru Malta), Izzy Warrington and David Grima. Each episode will walk you through the process of making your own easy and ready to wear costumes, masks, and props from home!
There will be a repeat on 15th February at 14:00.
A dramatised rendition of the traditional poetic farce synonymous with Carnival. Set in the Inquisitor's Palace in Birgu, the production will also feature historical insights behind the Qarċilla.
This is a throwback to last year's Children’s Carnival from St George’s Square.
A feature showcasing the work behind the intricate and magnificent Carnival costumes from the workshops of the participants.
The making of this year’s artistic & street installations featuring interviews with the participants, together with behind-the-scenes footage from their workshops.
A documentary with a retrospective look on Carnival through the ages featuring archive footage, photos and interviews with key historians and personalities.
For more information about the program of carnival in Malta 2021, click here.
Livestreamed from three different venues:
Visit their Facebook page for more updates.
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
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.
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.
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 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.