Although the beautiful weather happens year-round in Malta, each month of the year reserves special surprises and events to be experienced differently. March in Malta is a special month to be in the Maltese Islands and immerse yourself in the island’s cultural and historical heritage, mainly associated with its long-standing religious traditions and pre-historic ties – it is the month of rebirth brought along by spring and resurrection as everyone looks forward to Easter. Easter Sunday is greatly celebrated by the islanders, with various significant events leading up to the day taking place throughout the preceding weeks.
Feast of St. Joseph in Rabat
Officially celebrated on the 19th of March, which is also a Public Holiday. Celebratory religious and traditional events are held in the town of Rabat. The charming character of this old town along with all the activities associated with a traditional Maltese feast – ‘festa’ – make Rabat especially worth a visit on this day. Traditional foods, fireworks, music and a pleasant atmosphere characterised by the boisterous locals that gather in the village core are to be expected.
In order to welcome spring, Heritage Malta each year organises the Spring Equinox at Mnajdra Temples. The magical setting of these temples looking out towards the sea along with their systematic structure and remarkable orientations make this event worth attending. The activity is open to a limited number of attendees who gather at the Temples before sunrise and delve into the myth and mystery of these pre-historic structures.
The Holy Week
The last few days in the run-up to Easter Sunday are in themselves a celebration that leads up to the long-awaited day. Throughout this week, various traditional processions in several Maltese towns and villages are held, where the passion of the Christ is re-enacted and revived through the processions in which the participants dress up as Biblical characters.
Numerous exhibitions around the island are also held by artisans and craftsmen that skillfully create elaborate statuettes depicting significant events from the Bible. These exhibitions truly deserve to be visited an appreciated as they demonstrate remarkable craftsmanship and artistic talent. In addition, Easter pageants organised by several local groups are held and widely attended locally – combining dramatic and musical talent to create an original and stirring representation of the Biblical events.
Following 40 days of Lent and the sombriety of Good Friday, Easter Sunday is celebrated with much ardour. As tradition has it, ‘figolli’ – the traditional Easter treat made out of pastry with a sweet almond filling and cut out in symbolic shapes, are eaten today to break the fasting and celebrate Christ’s resurrection. The island seems to be in a happier and festive mood and the statue of the Risen Christ is carried around several towns and villages as a commemoration of Christ’s triumph over death.
Celebrated on the 31st of March, this day, also a public holiday, marks the anniversary of the withdrawal of British troops and the Royal Navy from Malta in 1979. On this day, it is a good idea to head to the Grand Harbour in Valletta and watch the Regatta – a traditional rowing event in which rowing teams from various harbour towns and villages in Malta participate in this race and contend against each other for the trophy. The vibrant atmosphere created by the competition against the remarkable beauty of the Grand Harbour makes this event one that should not be missed. You may even want to take some leftover figolla to snack on while standing and cheering in the early spring sun. Day made.
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