Summer in Malta is characterised by traditional feasts which are held every weekend. These village feasts venerating the saints are an integral part of the Maltese culture and its Catholic tradition.
The ‘festa’ is the main social event in the Maltese villages and the local patrons look forward to this once a year event. In fact the week-long celebrations are the outcome of months of hard work by volunteers to celebrate the parish patron saint. On the day of the feast the statue of the patron saint is carried around the streets and is accompanied by brass bands. The celebrations themselves include magnificent firework displays, brass band music and street life. Band music is one of the most popular traditions on the Maltese Islands. Every town and village has at least one, and usually two band clubs. Traditional festa snacks include the rich and colourful nougat.
The village feast is an opportunity for Maltese families to get together at the village square and it is also the perfect occasion for visitors to experience the Maltese village life. Two of the major Maltese feasts are the Assumption of Our Lady which is held on the 15th of August and Our Lady of Victories which is celebrated on the 8th September. Our Lady of Victories, also known as ‘il-Vitorja’, commemorates the defeat of the Turks at the end of the Great Siege of 1565. The highlight of this feast is the Regatta (boat race) held at the Grand Harbour.
Undoubtedly, the village feast remains one of Malta’s most visual cultural festivities with food stands selling traditional Maltese nougat and spectacular exhibition of fireworks. The entire village is also decorated with banners and buildings such as the band clubs are also lavishly decorated.
Visiting Malta this Summer? Feel free to contact our Concierge Team to find out which feast will be taking place during your holidays in Malta. The Grand Hotel Excelsior also offers private chauffeur driven service to various locations around Malta and Gozo.
The Grand Hotel Excelsior is proud to relaunch the Tiki Restaurant, which offers exquisite cuisine and breath-taking sea views. We caught up with Roderick Vella our Executive Head Chef to discuss this year’s culinary offerings:
1. What is the concept of this year’s Tiki Restaurant Menu?
The main specialty is fresh fish, and we are also trying to introduce the meat by weight and special meat cuts with grilling as a main cooking method.
2. How does it differ from last year’s menu?
After the success and very positive response we had last year, we are focusing on continuing to enhance our menu. We want to improve, rather than change, our items.
3. Can you name your favorite dish from the current menu?
Pork is my favourite type of meat, so I am very passionate about including it on my menus. The dish I am most proud of is the Pork & Scallops starter. Combining pork and seafood results in great and unexpected flavours.
4. Do you use any particular techniques?
A Special culinary technique we use at the Tiki is called ‘sous vide’. It is a process in which the food is cooked under pressure for an extended period of time. The ingredients are vacuum sealed and are immersed in a water bath and cooked at a very precise, consistent temperature. This helps to retain the nutrients and colour. It also helps us with planning, preparation and speed whilst serving delicious and fresh food.
This Summer enjoy outdoor dining by the water’s edge. If you would like to book a table at the Tiki Restaurant kindly contact our Food & Beverage Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 21250520. The Tiki Restaurant is open for Lunch from 12:00hrs till 17:00hrs and Dinner from 19:00hrs till 23:00hrs.
The Azure Window (Maltese: Tieqa tad-Dwejra or Tieqa Zerqa) was a limestone natural arch on the Maltese island of Gozo. It was situated near Dwejra Bay on the Inland Sea. The formation, which was created after two limestone sea caves collapsed, was a very popular site amongst scuba divers.
The current site of the former Azure Window
In March 2017, the arch collapsed after a heavy storm. The natural monument was considered as the most known landmark in the Republic of Malta. The collapse of the window was expected and the incident was a consequence of the weakening of the pillar. The Azure Window was made of a Maltese limestone known as Globigerina Limestone which is the second oldest rock found on the islands covering almost 70% of its area. The rock, which is subject to erosion, gives Malta its distinctive coast and interior. Thickness of the limestone ranges from 23 m (75 ft) near Fort Chambray on Gozo up to 207 m (679 ft) around Marsaxlokk on Malta. The 28 m (92 ft) high arch consists of yellow to pale-grey limestone comprising the remains of the marine organism globigerinid foraminifera. The arch had been disintegrating as evidenced by large pieces of rock which had begun to fall from the underside of the arch. The rate of collapse had suggested that the arch would completely disintegrate within a few years. Its dangerous condition led to warning notices being placed along the cliffs to stop people walking over the top of the arch.
In April 2012 a large chunk of rock was dislocated and resulted in the opening of the window being made larger but also more unstable. It also had resulted in a reduction of its previously nearly perfect oblong shape. The window fully collapsed on 8 March 2017 after pillar collapsed, pulling the arch top with it. Following the collapse, only a stub of what used to be part of the stack that supported the roof of the window was left.
If you are planning your next holiday to Malta please feel free to contact the Concierge Team at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta who will surely guide you and suggest some great places to visit during your stay.