What’s on this Christmas in Malta
It may be mild in comparison to ‘up North’ but in Malta, by evening, temps start to chill and we’re lighting fires (or turning on those portable gas heaters!), cracking open a bottle, and filling houses with the aroma of mulled wine and making merry. Our winter traditions mirror the British, with a touch of the Italian – the Christmas tree, turkey, and trimmings and trappings are as visible in Malta as in any northern climate though we add Italian panettoni and liquors. With Malta so international these days, anything goes. I’ve noticed fewer climbing santas this year. So perhaps that particular ‘tradition’ is on the wane.
It’s time to start thinking of entertaining in and entertainment out. Here again, Malta does us proud at Christmas time. See our What’s On listings for more than enough to keep you and yours busy, but here’s a resume’ of what’s in store…and if you’re an event organiser, you can list for free using our quick, online form.
There’s a host of traditions like carol concerts in the spectacular, heart-lifting settings of St John’s Co-Cathedral (with one concert this Friday, 21st Dec) and the impressive St Publius Parish Church in Floriana, not to forget Mdina’s Cathedral. With 364 churches, you won’t have far to travel from dining table to evening song, midnight mass or a carol concert – they’ll be right on your doorstep. If you miss the Christmas church concerts, there are plenty in the New Year: enjoy the gem-like atmosphere of lunchtime concerts in January at St Catherine’s of Italy, Valletta. And Malta’s national trust, Din l-Art Helwa, is holding an end of year celebratory concert in Our Lady of Victory church, Valletta. If you can’t make it to the Musikverein in Vienna for the famous New Year concert, then head to the MCC for A Viennese Gala Night.
All festive season long, Valletta has a host of open-air, public events running. Our Christmas in the City listing has the programme in full. Further away, in the regions, we find parallel events such as Christmas in Mellieha.
Christmas is also Panto season, and this year, we get a full-on, not-to-miss MADC panto at the MFCC tent in the Wizard of Oz (I’ve had a sneak preview of the costumes in the making, and can say they are awesome). Meanwhile, there’s an equally extravagant twist on Snow White – The Curse of Snow White – devised by the Masquerade theatre school running at the Teatru Manoel, Valletta. Both productions run well into January. Be quick if you want tickets though as both are hot sellers.
If you want to start Christmas day in style, and start eating early on, head to Palazzo de Piro, Mdina, for a lavish Christmas breakfast!
Music aplenty, from classical and choirs to clubbing, so browse the list and take your pick. We’ve New Year’s Eve listings on our Events pages too so browse those organised by private clubs and DJs as well as public entities. Valletta and Floriana are hosting the National Celebration on NYE open air.
Photos in page: Courtesy of Corey Amaro, an online friend.
Featured photo on homepage: Shopper in Merchant Street, 2012 by Leslie Vella.