Malta Festivals to Look Forward to in 2019
Last year, Valletta was named the European Capital of Culture. Valletta 2018 saw many events over the course of the year, celebrating both Maltese and European art, culture and music. Now that Valletta 2018 is over, you might be wondering what there’s going to be to enjoy this year. Fear not! There is always something going on in Malta. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the Maltese are so sociable! In any case, there is plenty to look forward to this year. Have a look at our list of the Maltese festivals that you can look forward to in 2019! From festivals celebrating food and wine to history, culture and music, there truly is something for everyone!
Carnival – 1st to 5th March 2019
This is one of Malta’s most highly-anticipated yearly events. It has been celebrated every year since the beginning of the 16th century. Carnival brings a week of festivities to Malta and its sister island, Gozo. Think fancy dress, wacky floats, parties and a whole load of fun. Everyone enjoys dressing up for carnival with traditional masks that cover up your face! The main celebrations take place in Valletta and here you can enjoy the parade. If you’re a party-goer, you might want to head over to Gozo to celebrate, where things really kick off! If you want to make sure you won’t be recognized, you should start getting your costume ready now. The more outrageous, the better!
Festa Frawli (Strawberry Festival) – 7th April 2019
The Strawberry Festival is loved by locals and tourists alike. Around the same time every year, strawberry lovers head to Mgarr to celebrate Festa Frawli. Mgarr is famous for its super sweet strawberries, which makes it the perfect place to host this fruity festival! At the festival, there are usually many stalls selling all sorts of different things, from smoothies to sweets, treats and, of course, lots of fresh strawberries! Stock up on fresh fruit to make your yearly supply of strawberry liquor and strawberry jam. Yum!
Medieval Mdina – May 2019 (TBC)
Medieval Mdina is Malta’s most famous historical festival. It celebrates all things medieval in Malta’s medieval capital city. Before Valletta was built, Mdina served as the capital city of Malta. Even on a normal day, visiting Mdina can make you feel as if you’ve gone back in time. The sleepy, narrow streets and the thick, high walls feel very medieval indeed. However, for one weekend in May, Mdina feels very special indeed. This festival sees people reenacting the time when this great city was first built. People dress in costumes, there’s a medieval market complete with a medieval tavern. You can also enjoy some music and falconry to get you into the spirit of the middle ages! For history buffs, this is certainly not a festival to miss!
Isle of MTV – 9th to 14th July 2019
Isle of MTV is probably the most highly anticipated summer event in Malta. Before coming to Malta, this music festival had been held in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. It might be one of Europe’s smallest music festivals but it’s the biggest thing on Malta’s summer calendar – and it’s free! Up to 10,000 people flock to Floriana to enjoy a night of live pop music. Last year, fans got to see the likes of Ella Eyre, Hailee Steinfeld and Jason Derulo. We don’t know the line up yet for this year’s festival, but we do know that it’s coming back to Malta for sure, thanks to 89.7 Bay! Previous acts include: The Chainsmokers, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, will.i.am, Rita Ora and Clean Bandit.
Jazz Festival – 15th to 20th July 2019
Continuing along the musical lines, the Jazz Festival is coming back in 2019! For a whole week, Valletta will play host to performances that showcase Maltese and international talent. If you are a fan of this genre of music, make sure you’re there! Last year, the Malta Jazz Festival saw a combination of free and paid events. Who knows what this year will hold! Keep your eyes peeled for the full programme and all that jazz.
Farsons Beer Fest – July/August 2019 (TBC)
Held at Ta’Qali, the Farsons Beer Fest is loved and attended by pretty much all music fans in Malta. Along with Isle of MTV, it’s up there with Malta’s most popular yearly events. The dates for Beer Fest 2019 have yet to be announced but you can be sure what to expect! The celebration usually lasts a few nights, and each evening will see thousands of attendees enjoying the live music. Several stages are set up, with musicians and bands playing throughout the evenings. Maltese beer and scrumptious food will also be on sale at the bar and at various stalls. There’s no way you’ll go hungry or thirsty while you spend hours enjoying watching the local bands and musicians doing their thing on stage!
Marsovin & Delicata Wine Festivals Summer 2019 (TBC)
These two Maltese winemakers have become notorious for their yearly wine festivals. These are amazing events for wine lovers and wine novices alike. If you’re a regular wine drinker and you know your stuff, you can enjoy your favourite tipple in a beautiful setting, with friends and family and live music. If you’re new to wine, it’ll be a great opportunity to try something new. Normally, you purchase a bag of tokens upon entrance, which you can then exchange for glasses of wine. The more expensive the wine, the more tokens you’ll need for a glass. You can try different grapes, different years and different blends. Normally, your bag of tokens will come with a leaflet of information, so you can read a little about the wine you’re tasting. The beauty of just getting a glass instead of a whole bottle is that, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to finish it, and you won’t be too out of pocket. Simply go and try another wine! You’ll probably have a good idea of what you do and don’t like by the end of the evening, if you’re still standing, that is!
Birgu Fest October 2019 (TBC)
Birgu by Candlelight is a unique festival that attracts both locals and tourists. For one night only, all of Birgu is lit up only by candles! For some, this festival offers a once in a lifetime chance to see such a sight in the 21st century. Weather permitting, all the lights are switched off and only candlelight illuminates this medieval city. The council and all of the residents work together to make this amazing spectacle happen.
These are just a few of the festivals you can look forward to this year. There’s a lot more on Malta’s calendar, not forgetting the village festas which make a feast for our eyes and ears all throughout the summer months. If you rented through QuickLets, we’re sure you have a great home but don’t stay in every night. Not with all of these unmissable events going on!