It’s hard to pick the best time to visit Malta. But if we were to choose, Easter would be in the top three.
With a calendar full of traditions and rituals, including great food. Naturally, you’ll experience all of them in the mild, warm Mediterranean weather.
So, it’s easy to see why we’d pick Easter as one of the top times to visit the island.
Malta is a predominantly Christian country. And as such, Easter traditions are fixed in its local culture and something many Maltese, and visitors, look forward to every year.
It’s a time to reflect, celebrate, and ultimately, spend quality time with family and friends. And, of course, participating in one of the many local centuries-old customs.
Processions, pilgrimages, exhibitions, plays, local delicacies and much more—you’re set for an unforgettable trip to Malta this Easter!
If you’re spending Easter in Malta, you shouldn’t miss out on joining in at least some of the island’s traditions. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in Malta like a local—and make some unforgettable memories too.
The following are some of the most popular traditions in Malta that you can join this Easter:
#1: Holy week processions
You’ll find many processions on Easter Sunday and throughout the week or so preceding it. Among the most popular are the pageants on Our Lady of Sorrows, two Fridays before Easter Sunday.
During this day, the faithful gather in religious processions to pray and sing hymns in a procession behind a statue of Our Lady of Sorrows (known as “Id-Duluri” in Maltese).
The Church of Our Lady of Jesus holds the most popular pageant in Valletta. However, you’ll find processions in most other towns across Malta and Gozo.
There are many other processions celebrated throughout the Holy Week. These include the procession on Palm Sunday and the one on Good Friday. The latter is a day of mourning, with solemn processions and pageants held across the island.
This series of processions end with the one held on Easter Sunday.
Here, the faithful gather in local piazzas to witness the parade of the Risen Christ statue. They then move around the town’s streets as the bells ring triumphantly and the crowd sing hymns of celebration.
In some towns, this celebration ends with the bearers running with the statue on their backs or arms all the way back to the church. A must-see!
#2: Traditional religious exhibitions
Many Maltese and visitors look forward to the traditional Easter exhibitions, held yearly.
The subject throughout these exhibitions is the Passion of Christ, written in the Bible.
Using several kinds of mediums, artists replicate several biblical scenes and episodes. These include paintings and statues. The common denominator is that all these art forms are testament to the local craftsmanship and religious devotion.
The most popular yet unique mediums are rice and salt—used to represent biblical episodes.
Over the years, this art form has attracted many to these exhibitions. And for good reason, as it never fails to impress visitors with something truly spectacular and unique.
#3: Maundy Thursday Pilgrimage
Maundy Thursday is celebrated on the Thursday before Easter.
On Thursday evening, many devotees engage in the “Seven Churches Visitation”. During this tradition, they visit seven churches and pray before the Blessed Sacrament in each church.
Every family usually has an itinerary of churches to visit. However, some areas tend to be more popular than others.
Most people gather in Mdina and Rabat, The Three Cities, and Valletta on Maundy Thursday. This is because here you can find some of the island’s favourite churches (among the islands’ 365 churches and chapels).
Another famous Maundy Thursday tradition is the hike up to the Laferla Cross. Starting in Siggiewi, a candle-lit trail guides attendees along this solemn journey along the Maltese countryside. The faithful then walk up the early 20th-century religious landmark.
This tradition symbolises the Way of the Cross. And so, it has become increasingly popular among the locals attracting crowds of devotees of all ages.
#4: Traditional Easter food
It’s hard to talk about any celebration in Malta without mentioning the traditional food associated with it. And Easter is no exception!
There’s a variety of typical Easter Maltese food. And sampling some of them is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local culture and customs.
During Lent, you’ll spot a ring-shaped loaf of bread in most bakeries around the island. This kind of bread is known as “Qaghaq tal-Appostli”, and is decorated with almonds and sesame seeds.
It’s only produced during this time of the year, making it synonymous with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. So much so that you’ll find various stands outside of churches selling this specific type of bread during both days.
Another traditional food enjoyed during Lent is “Kwarezimal”. This typical biscuit dates back to Mediaeval times. Interestingly, the recipe is egg- and fat-free. Devotees used to avoid both ingredients during Lent, and in this way, they could still enjoy this treat!
Closer to Easter, you’ll find the famous Figolli—the nation’s favourite food during this time. Figolli are easy to spot in your local grocery store or bakery. Just look out for colourful pastries in different shapes, such as animal figures or cars.
Sometimes, figolli are covered in chocolate instead of icing and are decorated with even more colourful sweets. In all cases, you must try this traditional food in Malta!
Easter eggs are very common and popular during this time of the year, taking over supermarket shelves in all types. They’re typically opened on Easter Sunday, and most include a small surprise inside.
Finally, Easter Lunch is something the Maltese take very seriously.
Menus for the day usually include the traditional Easter lunch. This usually consists of lamb, potatoes and vegetables or Maltese and Mediterranean cuisine.
Spend Easter at be.HOTEL
Easter is a time of celebration. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be an excuse to rest and reset while on holiday!
Be.Hotel is located in the centre of St. Julians in Malta, making it ideal for resting after a long day of exploring. Our Standard Rooms, Superior Sea-view rooms with stunning views of St. George’s Bay and Family Rooms and Suites are in the heart of the island—surrounded by restaurants and attractions.
Our four-star accommodation is well-connected to the rest of the island by public transport or taxi services. This helps save the costs and the hassles involved in travelling to and from your accommodation.