Category Archives: Malta Attractions

Things to do in and around Mdina

Mdina View

Mdina by Night

A holiday to Malta is incomplete without a visit to the old capital city of Malta, Mdina. This old town and the whereabouts offer interesting insights into Maltese history and the old way of life of the Maltese. If you plan to visit Mdina and Rabat have a look at our list of recommendations.

  • Explore Mdina by Night
  • Go to Dingli Cliffs, limits of Rabat and enjoy the stunning views
  • Visit St. Pauls Catacombs in Rabat
  • Wander around Buskett Gardens close to Rabat

    Roman Villa Rabat

    Roman Villa, Rabat

  • See a Norman House by visiting Palazzo Falzon in Mdina
  • Admire the mosaics at The Roman Villa in Rabat
  • Visit the Museum of National History in Mdina
  • Experience the Mdina Dungeons
  • Enjoy the beautiful views from Fontanella tea rooms in Mdina

 

If you’re visiting Malta and would like to see some interesting places, please feel free to contact the Concierge Desk at this superior 5 star hotel in Malta and they will advise you on Where to Go and What to Do in Malta during your holidays.

Photo courtesy of viewingmalta.com

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Places to visit in Malta: The Hypogeum

Hypogeum

The Hypogeum is a unique monument of prehistoric Malta, rich in artifacts, including pottery, bones and carved figurines. However, to ensure the conservation of the Hypogeum, the number of visitors per day is restricted.

If you wish to visit the Hypogeum during your holidays in Malta, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Our transport desk will be able to assist you in obtaining last minute tickets. This service is available at an additional charge. Find out more about the Hypogeum.

Discover the most beautiful places on our Maltese islands in comfort, style and with the security of our experienced Grand Hotel Excelsior chauffeurs. Contact the transport desk at this Luxury 5 star hotel in Malta on +356 21250520 or on transport@excelsior.com.mt.

Photo courtesy of Viewingmalta.com

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Christmas Traditions around the World

xmas treeChristmas, the season of joy and forgiveness, involves several traditions. In this article, we examine the origins of some of the most popular festive customs.

Christmas Trees
Few of us could really imagine Christmas without having a beautifully decorated tree. So when did this tradition start? It has been suggested that the origin of decorating pine or fir trees with apples, roses, candies and colored papers commenced some time during the Renaissance and in early modern Germany. Its 16th century origins are linked to the period of Martin Luther, but its widespread popularity was due to its introduction by various members of the nobility. In fact, the Christmas tree decorating tradition became much more popular and widely accepted in the United Kingdom after Queen Victoria’s marriage to the German Prince Albert.

mistletoeMistletoe
It was commonly believed that mistletoe should not touch the ground between being cut and its removal after Candlemas, which commemorates the presentation of the child Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem. People would traditionally hang mistletoe in their houses to protect against fire. Moreover, any man and woman who met underneath it were bound to kiss each other. Each time a couple would kiss underneath the mistletoe, one berry would be removed. Once all berries
were removed, the privilege ceased.

Xmas CribNativity Crib – a Maltese tradition
In Malta, just like in any other country where Christmas is celebrated, the Crib is a part of the Festive season and tradition. It is believed that the very first Crib to be built in Malta dates back to 1617 and although there is no official document which can confirm it, the crib has been built every Christmas since then. The design of the Cribs was influenced mainly by the Neapolitan style. In fact, although this style was popular in Europe until the end of the last century, many Maltese disagreed with it, claiming, that such style did not represent the Holy Night and burnt them as firewood, during times of poverty.

The more acceptable style hailed from Sicily, and was introduced to the Maltese by a Franciscan friar, during the second half of the 19th century. The popularity of building cribs bloomed during the 19th and early 20th century. The most common materials were rustic stone, coal residue, and eventually, papier mache.

xmas  stockingChristmas Stocking
There is a lot of debate surrounding where the tradition of Christmas stockings originated from. A popular story revolves around the tale of an old man and his three daughters. Due to his financial situation, he feared that his daughters would be unable to marry, as he could not afford their dowries. St Nicholas was riding through the village and heard of this issue. He was also aware of the fact that the old man would not accept a donation from him. Therefore, he decided to enter the man’s house through his chimney. He found three stockings drying by the fireplace and he filled them with a bag of gold each. The following morning, the family found the gold and the daughters were soon married. Nowadays, inspired by this legend, adults and children hang their stockings by the fireplace hoping to find their stockings filled with gifts and treats the next morning.

xmas candyCandy Cane
The history of the Candy Cane dates back to 1670, when a German choirmaster wanted something to keep children occupied during the lengthy Christmas Eve ceremonies. He approached a local sweet maker who created a red and white stick with a crook at the tip of it. The shape of the sweet is said to allude to the shepherds who visited the child Jesus, whilst the colours symbolise Christian beliefs in the sinless life of Jesus. The religious connotations justified the distribution and consumption of sweets during worship. Eventually, this candy gained popularity across Europe and the sweet is now available in several flavours.

ponsiettaPoinsettia
A popular story states that a young girl in Mexico was too poor to buy presents to celebrate Christmas. The angels inspired her to pick some weeds growing on the side of the road and put them in front of the church alter. When these weeds blossomed, beautiful crimson blossoms sprouted from them, and they became poinsettias. Following this, it became a tradition in Mexico to include these bright flowers into Christmas celebrations. Locals believe that these plants have a special symbolism – the shape of the flowers symbolises the Star of Bethlehem, while the red colour represents the blood spilt during crucifixion of Jesus. Poinsettias are now a popular Christmas decoration worldwide.

Many of today’s traditions are deep rooted in history. The listed traditions remain very popular, and many are a signature feature in many households during the Festive Season.

Maltese love to celebrate Christmas. In fact some of the Maltese Christmas traditions include the nativity crib (also known as ‘il-presepju’), the Sermon of the Child (also known as ‘il-Priedka tat-tifel’) and the traditional Maltese Christmas Lunch. So if you will be visiting Malta during your Christmas holidays feel free to check out our list of events taking place in and around Malta.

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