Maltese summer nights are particularly memorable for their long history of village feasts, or festas in Maltese. Between our religious celebrations, organised by the local parishes, are well known for their bright firework displays, processions, vibrant colours, band marches performing village favourites, crowds of people and electric atmosphere.
These famous celebrations are undoubtedly a huge part of Maltese culture. Since every village has at least one patron saint, there are approximately 60 village festas that take place annually in summer alone. Each festa is filled with life and folklore – some feasts have even become national holidays.
Attending just one of these festas is sure to be an unforgettable cultural experience of food, music and drinks. Feast-goers are spoilt for choice when it comes to picking delicious and cheap sugary sweets, served from traditional wooden stalls populated around the streets.
Colourful, loud, and exciting, Malta’s pyrotechnic abilities are shown off at every festa, including the even more dazzling ġigġifogu, or pinwheels.
The ceremonial highlight of any festa is the carrying of the statue of the village saint, out of the church and into the streets, accompanied by a cheering crowd often following behind. The facade of the main church in the village is normally covered in hundreds of lights, which gives it a picture perfect look.
The essence of all that is Mediterranean – countless locals and foreigners make their way to the village festa to enjoy the entertaining festivities they have to offer. Take a look at our pick of some of the most popular festas in Malta and Gozo.