Good Friday processions Malta have been held since as early as the 16th century. The passion of Christ is carried on a procession of statues symbolising the sacrifice Jesus had to bear to sacrifice His life for all. This day is celebrated as a commemoration when Jesus Christ died on the cross.
Malta commemorates Good Friday every year. It remains a prestigious days for the population. It is a time of reflection about the suffering of Jesus.
Good Friday is celebrated in the churches around the islands with an afternoon service. Afterwards processions are held in various villages with life-size statues. They are taken out from the parish church in a procession around the village streets.
Every statue represents an actual episode during the Passion of the Christ. Each statue, depending on the size, is carried by a group of bearers from 6 to 10 men..
The following two villages hold their Good Friday Processions the Sunday before Good Friday which is Palm Sunday.
*A two-act production in combination with the traditional Good Friday procession.
To see the procession route on Google Maps click the village in the orange colour.
The Zejtun Good Friday procession walks through the following streets:
The route it take is as follows:
The procession starts at 17:30
The route it take is as follows:
Procession starts at 17:30
For a better look at the route, see the map below.
Up to some years ago everything used to stop, cinemas closed, restaurants, radio stations used to play selected music, but today you find that cinemas are open, you will find opened restaurants. All theatres will be closed. This is also positive for those who are not religious and have the right to the usual entertainment.
All tourist accommodations are business as usual including Malta International Airport, all public transport, taxis, tours and the hop-on hop-off buses.
It is officially a public holiday.
Government departments, businesses and schools are closed on this day.
The Gozo ferry that operates between the islands operates its normal schedule and more probably it will be enhanced with the number of trips due to the large number of Maltese that visit Gozo all through the weekend.
If you wish to say prayers in front of the Holy Eucharist you can do so at the church side altars or in a separate area beside the church. This will start on the night of Maundy Thursday 08:00 to 11:00 and Good Friday morning from 07:00 to 12:00. They are extraordinarily decorated with white flowers and church décor.
You find exhibitions in all towns and villages. We suggest that you visit the village core surround the parish church and their you will surely find a few exhibitions to visit.Tthese are usually open from Maundy Thursday around 20:00 to Good Friday 13:00.
Some of the exhibitions will be located around the parish church surrounding. So it will be easy to locate.
In the afternoon you can attend to one of the processions. Click here to look at the list of villages and towns.
Things to know if you intend visiting
If you have a rented car, parking might be difficult since the main streets leading to the centre will be closed due to the procession. Also many Maltese visit these processions. You have to look around the nearby streets.
You can also use the public transport, plan your route and leave your accommodation enough time before to arrive in time. Always ask for the last bus leaving the village back to the Valletta terminus.
You can always call a taxi and it will take you directly to the village or closest to the village core.
Use the map below to know which villages do the processions.
The following live transmissions are of 2019. They will be updated when the schedule come out close to the actual dates in 2021.
The Way Of The Cross is held at the Colosseum in Rome live ever Good Friday and transmitted world wide.
These will be updated close to the actual dates in 2021.
Men, women and children participate wearing a variety of costumes such as Roman soldiers and Biblical characters. They walk in between the statues representing a different stage of the passion.
Hundreds of people from every village participate with such a sincere devotion and dedication from young ones to old persons who would have participated all through their life from year to year.
The village brass bands participate throughout the procession by playing solemn music written purposely for the occasion. It is to be noted that these marches are very popular with the locals.
From the church bells that usually are played during every day of the year to the unusual sound of the cuqlajta (rattle) as a sign of mourning is played from Maundy Thursday till Saturday evening before the Easter church mass is celebrated. For Maundy Thursday village celebration church times click here.
Many locals are drawn to go and see the processions of their own village or to another village. They return to see the procession passing through one of the streets. It gives a lovely and definite history of Malta and its values and also has various medieval traditions.
Many foreigners come during Holy Week for their holiday to participate and enjoy the cultural attractiveness of these religious activities. They are provided with pre-paid chairs in the first part of the procession when coming out of the church.
The idea behind the processions in Malta started from the Sicilian and Spanish influences. The first procession in Malta started in early 16th century to dress up in traditional costumes first in Rabat followed then in Valletta.
During the 18th century baptized slaves and condemned persons participated through the procession as a penance to walking during the procession dragging chains tied to their bare feet as an act of faith or penance.
Other countries hold traditional celebrations similar to ours, from Italy, Spain, Puerto Rico and the Philippine.
For 2020, Good Friday will be held on the 10th April 2020. Good Friday is always celebrated two days before Easter Sunday or as some say, the Friday before Easter.
For Christians, Good Friday is one of the most significant days of the year since it celebrates the death of Jesus. On this day we remember the suffering Jesus did while being crucified on the cross.
It is the crucifixion of Jesus. It is a day of fasting and penance.
Processions may take between 3.5 hours to 5 hours including the exiting and entering of the procession from the church.