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Isle of MTV, Village Festas & the Rolex Middle Sea Race HighlightMalta’s “Endless Mediterranean Summer” of Events & Festivals

Malta, a Mediterranean archipelago and cultural hub, is renowned for its abundant sunshine and a rich history that spans more than 8,000 years. Summer is always a busy season of festivals and events, but Malta and its sister island Gozo continue to be a vibrant hotspot in the Fall, offering a diverse array of concerts and festivals. With a packed year-long event schedule, Malta promises something for everyone, while also inviting visitors to explore its three sister islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino.



Village Festas - at Parishes Across Malta and Gozo 

Village “Festas”, also known as Il-Festa, an annual community event with religious roots, is held in village parishes across Malta and its sister island, Gozo. This traditional Maltese village feast has now been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, as part of Malta’s intangible cultural heritage. Malta's main festa season kicks off annually in late April and extends until early October, featuring numerous events in various villages.



Malta

Considered by the international jazz community as a ‘true’ jazz festival and a beacon of artistic integrity, the Malta Jazz Festival presents a panorama of jazz music in all its facets. This Jazz Festival stands out as an event that achieves a perfect balance between the savant and more popular elements of jazz.


Held in partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority, Isle of MTV Malta will return to the island’s il-Fosos Square on Tuesday, July 16, 2024, with headlining performances from DJ Snake and RAYE. Promising huge, open air sets, Europe’s biggest free Summer festival is in its 16th year. 


Dance Festival Malta is a multi-disciplinary festival that strives to cultivate a dance environment in Malta. The festival will host a series of workshops, masterclasses, and performances that 

welcomes international and local artists and choreographers. This unique festival will allow

attendees to immerse themselves in the dance culture of Malta.


Malta, situated between Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, gives members of the EMENA (European, Middle East & North Africa) LGBTQ+ community the opportunity to gather and celebrate in a safe environment where people are free to be themselves. Occupying the top spot on the Europe Rainbow Index for seven consecutive years, Malta, has also been awarded an outstanding 92% in recognition of the laws, policies, and lifestyles of the LGBTQ+ community out of a total of 49 European Countries. Guests from abroad will find plenty of gay-friendly restaurants, events, cafes, pubs, nightclubs, and boutiques to visit, ensuring all LGBTQ+ travelers will have an amazing time.


Victory Day is a national holiday celebrated annually on September 8th. The holiday commemorates Malta’s three greatest victories: The Great Siege in 1565, The Siege of Valletta in 1800 and The Second World War in 1943. Each year, Malta gathers as a nation in order to remember the bravery and resilience of its forefathers. The festivities commence two days prior with a commemorative event held during the evening in front of the Great Siege Monument in Valletta. 


Notte Bianca is one of Malta’s biggest annual arts and culture festivals. For one special night, every first Saturday of October, the Valletta cityscape lights up with a spectacular celebration of the arts, open to the public free of charge. Local museums, piazzas, state palaces, and churches transform their property into venues to hold live performances and concerts, while other restaurants and cafés extend their hours to serve the festival celebrants. 


Malta, the crossroads of the Mediterranean, will host the 45th Rolex Middle Sea Race, an iconic

race, featuring some of the world’s premier mariners on the most high-tech vessels in the sea. The race begins in Valletta’s Grand Harbour beneath the historic Fort St. Angelo. Participants will embark on the 606 nautical mile classic, traveling to the Eastern coast of Sicily, up towards the Strait of Messina, before heading North to the Aeolian Islands and the active volcano of Stromboli. Passing between Marettimo and Favignana the crews head South towards the island of Lampedusa, passing Pantelleria on the way back to Malta.


The 10-day Three Palaces Festival, which always happens within the first two weeks of November, focuses on the premise that “our ordinary is actually extraordinary”, which comes from the fact that in Malta there are many magnificent buildings that locals and visitors alike pass by every day and barely notice their beauty. The festival showcases emerging talented musicians to perform alongside the finest established artists in Malta, with performances taking place at some of Valletta’s most historic locations.



Gozo

September

This is the closing month of the festa season in Gozo as summer slowly comes to an end, yet the sea is still perfect for a swim and various water-related activities. There is usually a wine festival organized in Nadur in the first week of September. A series of live music events are organized all summer long in village squares and seaside villages, which culminate in September.

 

Malta has long been influenced by Italian culture, particularly opera. Artists, including singers and musicians, arrived in 1631 from nearby Syracuse to perform at the invitation of the Italian Knights of the Order. The Manoel Theatre in Valletta, Europe’s third-oldest working theater, showcased baroque operas from 1736. Then, on October 9, 1866, a more spacious Royal Opera House in Valletta was officially inaugurated. However, the Royal Opera House was destroyed during World War II, leading to a decline in Malta's operatic prominence.

 

This vacuum was filled through the inauguration of Gozo’s Aurora Opera House on October 9, 1976. This brought about the rebirth of opera on the Maltese Islands. The first opera ever in Gozo, Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, was presented here on January 7 & 8, 1977. The Astra Theatre, originally inaugurated on January 20, 1968, ventured into the realm of operatic production on September 15 & 16, 1978 with Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto and Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia respectively.

 

Over the years, renowned singers like Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, Aldo Protti, and Maltese artists Miriam Gauci and Joseph Calleja have graced both opera houses.

 

This year's productions in Gozo are Puccini's Il Trittico at the Aurora Theatre on October 12 and Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco at the Astra Theatre on October 24 & 26.



November

At the end of November (date yet to be determined), a concert is usually held to commemorate the start of the Christmas period in Gozo whilst the street decorations in Victoria are lit up.

 

December

December is all about Christmas in Gozo. From street decorations to concerts, traditional cribs, Christmas markets and parades, Gozo comes to life with the joy and happiness that this season brings. The Villa Rundle gardens are beautifully decorated and all lit up, whilst a Christmas market is open on certain days selling all kinds of artisanal crafts and food. The unique experience of Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem is a must to mention, which is an animated nativity village and life-size crib which brings to life the Nativity story. At the end of the month, a concert is held in Independence Square to celebrate the end of the year and the beginning of a new one.


Malta and its sister islands Gozo and Comino, an archipelago in the Mediterranean, boasts a year round sunny climate and 8,000 years of intriguing history. It is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Valletta, Malta’s Capital, built by the proud Knights of St. John. Malta has the oldest free-standing stone architecture in the world, showcasing one of the British Empire's most formidable defense systems, and includes a rich mix of domestic, religious and military structures from the ancient, medieval and early modern periods. Rich in culture, Malta has a year-round calendar of events and festivals, attractive beaches, yachting, trendy gastronomical scene with 7 Michelin-starred restaurants and a thriving nightlife, there is something for everyone. 


For more information on Malta, please visit www.VisitMalta.com

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