The religious feasts celebrated in Maltese villages are a big part of the culture in Malta.
When visiting Malta in the summer for a holiday, it is absolutely recommended that you spend a summer night (or more!) enjoying the family-friendly feasts, their street food, and of course our fireworks displays.
Chances are that if you’re visiting Malta, you won’t be able to attend more than one or two village feasts.
So, how does one get the most out of their trip to fully experience this cornerstone of culture in Malta?
Image from maltacampsite.com
What Happens At Village Feasts In Malta?
There are some feasts that are more popular than others, like the week-long Mellieha festive activities that culminate on the evening of the 8th of September.
Equally popular is the St. Julian’s feast just a stone’s throw from the InterContinental Hotel Malta that is celebrated in the last weekend of August.
There are activities such as the March and the Gostra– an activity where people run up a greasy pole to catch a flag over the water – which had pictures of it buzzing on Reuters.
Village feasts are pedestrian, so be prepared to walk, even if you drive there, but you will arrive and see the streets – normally occupied by cars – now filled with people.
These people, sometimes a generation or two of family, a solitary old couple, a whole bunch of friends, are all enjoying their summer evening.
They’re walking the festively lit streets scored with decorations, perusing the many food trucks and food stalls there.
Photo credits go to Times of Malta and Darrin Zammit Lupi
What’s The Festa Food Like?
Speaking of food, what would you find there? True to the festive spirit, there will be fast food and a lot of it.
There’s a lot of the standard stuff: burgers, hot dogs, onion rings, fries, that sort of thing.
You’ll find sweets like cotton candy, snacks like popcorn, there are traditional Maltese treats, such as nougat and the ever-delicious Imqaret (fried date cakes), and even freshly-fried doughnuts that cost about 50c each.
Of course, there will be plenty of Kinnie (a bitter orange carbonated soft drink) or Cisk(Malta’s famed lager) to wash all that down.
Getting food is important too, so that you can make way for the marching band (and not worry about having to queue up for food either) which will, in its full assortment of brass, wind instruments and percussion, belt out songs that will make you feel like you’re being taken back to the time the feasts were lit by oil-lamps, not electricity.
Image from lovinmalta.com
Enjoy The Mediterranean Life
The village feasts are, traditionally, religious feasts, so don’t be too surprised by the processions that normally accompany the band, and there would be a statue that accompanies that band.
The most important thing to do here is to just realise you’re on a Mediterranean island in the summer months.
Surrounded by locals and holiday-havers alike, the smell of oil and grilled meats wafting through the warm summer air, and then just look up, and see the village’s fireworks lighting up the sky and the faces of everyone around you.
Image from frommalta.com
Book your stay in one of our luxury hotel rooms at the InterContinental Hotel Malta and you will be well connected to visit any of the village feasts you desire attending.
We may also have a couple of suggestions for you if you’re looking for an alternative night out on our island.