The festive season is upon us, and if you’re contemplating or have already set your sights on a Christmas trip to Malta, you’re in for a unique experience.
The combination of its serene island vibe, rich cultural heritage, lively street adornments, genuine warmth of Maltese hospitality, and naturally mild climate ensures a Christmas unlike any other.
In this blog, we delve into what you can expect from the festive season in Malta. From embracing Maltese traditions to savouring tasty seasonal cuisines and discovering the array of events and activities, join us as we unravel the magic of celebrating the holidays in Malta.
‘Tis the Season for Christmas Celebrations
Christmas is one of Malta’s favourite times of the year, and the locals sure know how to celebrate it — with the island coming alive with a unique blend of customs and festivities.
Starting with a diffused Maltese custom — the so-called “Presepju”, a Nativity scene.
These intricate displays, found in churches, homes, and public spaces, beautifully depict the birth of Jesus, showcasing Maltese craftsmanship and devotion.
Walking around the quaint streets in villages and towns, you can spot some of these nativity scenes proudly displayed in house windows.
You’ll also witness Malta dazzle with vibrant decorations, including colourful lights. The Maltese take decorating their homes very seriously, contributing to the festive ambience around the island.
There’s a calendar packed with events around Christmas time. Among the most popular ones are:
Christmas markets: Valletta hosts renowned Christmas markets, notably at the Valletta Waterfront, featuring a grand 35-foot Christmas Tree. Numerous towns and villages across Malta also organise their festive markets, including Sliema, all along Bisazza Street, and Rabat with their “Natalis Nobilis” — Malta’s most prominent annual Christmas market in December.
Live performances and entertainment: Several locations host live music performances featuring choirs singing traditional carols and festive songs throughout December. Among the most anticipated is the local “panto”, a form of traditional musical-comedy theatre, attracting locals and visitors alike for a dose of humour, dance routines, colourful costumes, and lively performances.
Religious processions and celebrations: Malta is predominantly Catholic, meaning the Christmas season includes traditional religious processions and ceremonies. This includes the famous Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and various church services on Christmas Day.
Festive gatherings: The festive season in Malta highlights the island’s sense of community, with many towns organising community gatherings, such as tree lighting ceremonies, charity events, and gatherings in public squares, fostering a sense of togetherness and shared joy among residents and visitors.
Cultural Exhibitions and Workshops: Additionally, cultural exhibitions, workshops, and themed events are organised in museums, galleries, and cultural centres, offering insights into Malta’s history, heritage, and artistic traditions, adding an educational and immersive element to the festivities.
New Year’s Eve Celebrations
New Year’s Eve in Malta is a vibrant and celebratory affair marked by various exciting events and traditions. Festivities unfold across the island, offering an unforgettable atmosphere for locals and visitors alike.
Valletta, Malta’s capital, hosts lively street parties and dazzling fireworks displays lighting the night sky.
As the new year approaches, the nightclubs and bars in Malta come alive with music, dancing, and celebration.
Many restaurants around the island also offer special gala dinners and entertainment to ensure a memorable transition into the new year.
Season’s Eatings: Festive Maltese Cuisine
Traditional culinary delights take centre stage during the festive season in Malta, all of which mirror the island’s heritage, such as:
Qaghaq tal-Ghasel: Sweet honey rings filled with a tempting mixture of nuts and spices, evoking the warmth of family gatherings.
Bragioli: Rolls of thinly sliced beef stuffed with a delightful mix of bacon, egg, and herbs, symbolising the heartiness of the season.
Imbuljuta: A hot cocoa and chestnut beverage infused with orange zest and cloves, perfect for sipping by the fireside, adding a cosy touch to the Christmas celebrations.
Maltese Christmas log: This dessert represents the spirit of Christmas. Made with biscuits, nuts, candid fruits, condensed milk, and liqueur, and often covered in chocolate to resemble a log, it’s a delightful centrepiece at many Maltese holiday tables.
Mince pies: While not originally Maltese, mince pies have entered Maltese Christmas celebrations. These small, sweet pastries filled with dried fruits, spices, and brandy evoke a festive feel and are enjoyed as traditional Christmas treats across the island.
Malta Festive Season: Travel Tips and Suggestions
Travelling to Malta offers a unique and vibrant experience during the festive season.
The following are some travel tips to make the most of your festive trip:
- Weather considerations: Malta’s winter weather during the holidays tends to be mild but not too cold. It’s advisable to pack layers for cooler evenings. The average maximum temperature is 17ºC while the average daily minimum is 11ºC.
- Festive Planning: Research local events and festivities happening during your stay. Malta offers diverse activities, from Christmas markets to New Year’s Eve celebrations. Plan to attend these events and embrace the holiday spirit. If you’re unsure, feel free to ask our front desk! Our staff will be more than happy to help.
- Respect local traditions: Embrace Maltese customs and traditions respectfully. Participate in local events and respect religious celebrations.
- Transportation: Public transport in Malta can be limited during public holidays, so plan your trips accordingly. Taxis or rental cars may be more convenient for exploring remote areas.
- Accommodation booking: Given the popularity of Malta during the festive season, book accommodations in advance to secure the best options.
Plan your festive stay in Malta at be.Hotel for a unique holiday experience
Discover a range of accommodation choices at be.Hotel, spanning from our Standard Rooms to the Superior Sea-view rooms with stunning panoramas of St. George’s Bay and spacious Family Rooms and Suites.
Nestled in the vibrant hub of St. Julian’s, Malta, our hotel ensures convenient access to essential amenities and an assortment of outstanding dining venues and bars.
Seeking further insights about Malta? Explore our blog for tips and suggestions on things to explore and experience in Malta.