The best time to see traditional village life- at a Festa!
One of the most wonderful things about Maltese culture is that the villages and towns on the island still enjoy a week long religious festival in the summer months (mainly between May and September)! This tradition has been going on for hundreds of years and is still the main event of the year for the towns and villages! The great weather enables many outdoor celebrations and the whole village gets involved, with preparations taking weeks (sometimes months!) It really is a spectacular time and if you are visiting Malta during these months, then it is definitely worth trying to incorporate one in to your trip. There are approximately 80 per year so it should never be too hard to find one! The friendly Maltese will make you feel welcome whilst you marvel at the effort that goes in to the festa, sometimes in 40 degree heat!
The decorations that go up for the festa’s are wonderful to see and are a great backdrop to the music and performances that take part during the week. At night, many of the buildings and churches are lit up and firework displays light up the skies. The streets are full of stalls in festa week with local food and sweets like ‘qubbaj’ (a type of Nougat) on sale. If you are lucky enough to visit one of the festas then it is a great time to try out the local food!
The festivals usually come to an end on a Sunday with an elaborate parade. Each town or village celebrates one of the patron saints and the parade features the saints statue. On the Monday after the festivals many locals will have another day off work and continue the celebrations at the beach, enjoying more food and drink!