Christmas is the most wonderful time of year. It’s a time full of fun and festivities. Malta is a predominately Catholic country, so Christmas is a big deal for the island. You’ve probably already noticed the heaps of shining, glistening and colourful lights around the island, making Malta look more magical! Just because it’s a little warmer on this island doesn’t make it any less festive. Here are some of the events happening around Malta to help you celebrate the season!
St. Julian’s Christmas Festival Market
Christmas markets originated in Germany and have spread all across the world. It is thought the first Christmas market was held in 1434. They are ideal for purchasing gifts for loved ones, as well as supporting local businesses. St. Julian’s hosts a yearly Christmas market with over 50 market stalls to roam through, making it the ideal place to get your Christmas shopping done. Keep an eye out for various competitions and raffles, as well as a gift-wrapping service. End your day with some good street food as you soak up the atmosphere around you. The St. Julian’s Christmas Festival Market will be held at St. Julian’s Parish Church Parvis between the 5th and 8th of December.
Natalis Notabilis in Rabat
One of the events that is highly recommended by everyone, Natalis Notabilis is Malta’s largest Christmas market and it's back for the 4th year running!. You’ll be enchanted as you stroll through the old streets of Rabat in all its festive delight. With plenty of market stalls to look through, you will be inspired for your next gift purchase. There will be plenty of traditional Christmas market food and beverages to try, such as a good old German sausage hot-dog, Maltese treats, mulled wine and hot chocolate. Evenings in Malta can be pretty sharp in Winter, so hot drinks are the perfect excuse to indulge! You can enjoy all this accompanied by live entertainment. You’re sure to hear a Christmas carol or two. You’ll even be lucky enough to see and hear a Terramaxka. A Terramaxka is an old Maltese instrument, which is very lavishly decorated and showcasing moving puppet dolls. This event is absolutely perfect for the children as they will have the chance to meet Santa and let him know what they want for Christmas! Don’t forget to take them to the Nativity Trail at Franciscan Friary’s secret garden so they can learn all about the true meaning of Christmas. Natalis Notabilis will be held in the centre of Rabat between the 11th and 15th of December. A park and ride service will also be available throughout the event so be sure to check their Facebook page for more information.
The Valletta Waterfront Christmas Wonderland
A whole programme of events is planned for the whole month for the Valletta Waterfront Christmas Wonderland. This is a great family-friendly event as there is a wealth of activities planned just for children. These include Christmas games, reading, and shows. They’ll even get the chance to meet Santa Claus. You’ll be able to get a taste of Summer back as the Maltese feast bands will also be making an appearance. The event is expected to end with a spectacular fireworks show on New Year’s Eve, followed by a DJ so you can continue to dance the night away and welcome 2020 with a bang! Christmas Wonderland will be held at Valletta Waterfront between the 30th of November till 31st December.
Malta Artisan Markets’ A Grand Christmas Market in Naxxar
Another opportunity to support local businesses. If you’re an expat going back home for Christmas, then this market will present a wonderful opportunity to take back some unique gifts for your loved ones. There will be a range of gifts to choose from, including candles, ceramics, jewellery, arts and crafts and so much more! With local food producers selling their goods, this is the perfect place to find something special to add to your Christmas lunch. A Grand Christmas Market will be held in the majestic 18th Century building, Palazzo Parisio, on the 7th and 8th of December.
The Malta International Christmas Choir Festival
This is set to be a massive festival showcasing the best of Christmas carols. There are a total of 27 choirs participating in this festival. 8 of the choirs are local, whilst 19 will be coming from abroad so it'll be a great international mix! Get into the Christmas spirit by attending one of the many shows around the island. The choirs will be performing in Churches throughout Malta. Check out their Facebook page to find out where your nearest show will be held. The Malta International Christmas Choir Festival will be held between 5th and 9th December in various locations.
Christmas Cribs have long been a Maltese traditional since the early 17th Century. Depicting the Nativity, they are handmade with a lot of care and attention and they can take months to replicate. You will find the traditional Maltese Christmas Crib in all villages, especially the Churches. Many Maltese families have a Christmas Crib presented in their home as well. They will open up their home or garage to proudly present their Christmas Crib. ‘Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem’ is a live crib in Gozo situated over an area of 20,000 square metres. An enormous amount of effort is put into creating this live Christmas Crib each year, with actors re-enacting scenes from the Nativity story. Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem is open from 13th December till 5th January in Ta’ Passi, in Ghajnsielem. More information can be found on their website www.ghajnsielem.com/bethlehem.
Last year, CNN named Malta the best place to spend Christmas. Malta stills keeps to its Christian roots when it comes to Christmas time, making Christmas even more meaningful for those who are religious. There are plenty of exciting events to put you in the Christmas spirit this year, so be sure to check some of these out and support your local businesses.
Malta is an extremely family-friendly place with many events tailored towards children. Christmas in Malta is no exception. If you’re looking to relocate your family to Malta then please speak to one of our sales specialists at Zanzi Homes. Our sales specialists will help you to find the perfect family-friendly home for you.