The Maltese really let their hair down in the revelry of Carnival few days before the beginning of Lent. Malta’ traditional Carnival is a treat alike for the Island’s inhabitants and for the ever increasing number of tourists. This three day festivity was introduced in Malta 1535 under Grand Master Pietro del Ponte, five years after the Knights took over the Island. The main celebration takes place in the capital, Valletta, but in every town and village children dress up in colourful clothes to camouflage their identity. The Valletta parata (parade) is very spectacular, including King Carnival followed by many floats of a high professional standard. Until some years ago, Carnival was also the event of the year for dances and masked balls. This type of entertainment during Carnival had an old tradition behind it. Under the Knights the Auberges remained open and were delightfully decorated. The burning of King Carnival on the last day of the festivities also survived, up to some years ago.

Snapshots from Carnival 2020

The Maltese Carnival 2020 was celebrated over five days until last Sunday and was described as a resounding success with over 60,000 people attending the parades in the Capital City, Valletta. These were marked by the customary colourful floats and thousands of children and adults alike, dressed up in fancy costumes. One could often hear Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ blaring loudly and frequently through the city’s loudspeakers.

The weather didn’t disappoint either with the sun blissfully shining right through the entire week. No wonder the enclosure at St George’s Square was sold out every day!

The spontaneous and macabre Carnival in our sister island was also bustling, with a record 47,900 passengers crossing to Gozo for the Carnival festivities. The main controversial theme this year was definitely the corona virus, but the local and international politicians and recent political scandals didn’t go unnoticed either.

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