Category Archives: Holidays in Malta

2014: The Year of the Horse

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, plays a significant role in Chinese culture and tradition.The celebration is recognized not only in China, but also in various countries with a considerable number of residents with Chinese heritage. This festival is known to be the longest one in Chinese culture – the celebrations usually begin on the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, and go on until the 15th day of the first month, the Lantern Festival. Because the Chinese use a Lunar Calendar the date of the Chinese New Year changes from year to year. The actual date is related to the new moon either in late January or in February.

chinese new year celebrations

Traditions and customs within the country differ according to the region. In the evening prior to Chinese New Year, families gather together for dinner. Traditionally, families would clean their houses thoroughly, believing that any misfortune would be removed, and making way for incoming good luck. Following this, family members would decorate the windows and doors of the house with red paper shaped in cuts and couplets, which symbolize good fortune, happiness, wealth and longevity. Part of the celebrations also includes lighting firecrackers and gifting each other with money placed in red envelopes.

2014 – The Year of the Horse
According to the zodiac legend, each year represents a different animal. It is also believed that the person born in a particular year will have some of the characteristics of that animal. The New Chinese Year will begin on Friday 31st January 2014 and symbolizes the Year of the Horse.

People born under this sign are said to be very hard working, independent, intelligent, ambitious and successful. They can easily cope with number of projects at once, and can fall in love very quickly. Furthermore they are popular amongst their friends, refuse failure and are talented speakers with great communication skills. However their known weaknesses include impatience, being hot blooded, having a bad temper, and not being good handling financial matters. Moreover, they find it difficult to listen to the advice of others, and often they get involved in many things but struggle to finish their own projects.

If you would like to experience the Chinese New Year and be part of the celebrations, join us at the Grand Hotel Excelsior for Our Chinese New Year Celebration Dinner on Thursday 30th January 2014. Contact Our Food & Beverage Team on food.beverage@excelsior.com.mt or on 21250520 to place your booking.

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Do you love Nature? Explore the Maltese Countryside…

Natural Attractions in Malta

malta nature

The natural environment of the Maltese Islands differs from the other European countries. Whereas most of them are rich in features such as mountains, forests, rivers or lakes, one will hardly find here. On the other hand, the islands’ landscape is dominated by cliffs, valleys, fields, rocks, beaches and bays.

The cliffs can be found on the western side of both islands, sharply rising from the sea to heights of 80 to 130 meters above sea level and down to 80 meters below in some places. Due to the difficult accessibility, the cliffs are home to many unusual Mediterranean coastal habitats. Maltese fauna and flora definitely have plenty to offer for visitors to view and enjoy.

malta nature 2

So If you’re looking for things to do in Malta one of the must see is a natural trio of spectacular phenomena – the Azure Window, Inland Sea and Fungus Rock. They can be found in the same location and are spread over a space of a few meters from each other. If you also enjoy the more adventurous activities, Malta is the place for you. Unlike other countries, the Maltese Islands conceal many attractions under water. So whether it is snorkeling or diving that you prefer, the Mediterranean waters are host to the extraordinary underwater landscapes surrounding the islands.

These are some of places worth visiting when staying in Malta:
Dingli Cliffs
This countryside is an ideal site for walking; with views of Verdala Palace and Buskett Gardens or Filfla Island. The cliffs are few kilometers long and 200 meters high at some points and were the Island’s natural fortress during the Knights’ occupation. Dingli Cliffs is one of the most beautiful locations in Malta, especially at Sunset, when its charming and breathtaking views are unparalleled.

Buskett Gardens
This is one of the few woodland areas in Malta. The 30ha site lies south of Rabat and east of Dingli. There are many different trees and shrubs growing in the area. These gardens were originally planted by the Knights Hospitaler as a hunting ground. Nowadays, it is a beautiful place to go for a walk in winter or simply just hide in the shade from the sun.

Marsaxlokk Saline Marshland
In all there are only six salt marsh habitats in a good condition found on the Islands. Due to the
very limited number of the saline marshlands, a great importance is paid to this natural heritage.
These sites are recognized as conservation areas. The Marsaxlokk Saline Marshlands were listed as Nature Reserve in 1983. They evolve in isolated area on sediments overplayed with surface water. It is a process which happens during the growth season. The distance between the sea and the Saline Marshland is very important as they are the link between the marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments.

Manikata
Manikata is a location in the Northern part of Malta in the limits of Mellieha, run by a group of local farmers and its residents known as Koperattiva Rurali Manikata (KRM). The group was set up in order to protect the locality and to maintain its natural beauty. The organization is currently working on four projects. These are running of the Rural Heritage Trail, restoration of Razzett tal-Qasan and the Armoury and also the promotion of the local products. The Historic Farmstead (Ir-Razzett tal-Qasan) is a relatively large rural complex comprising of caves and rooms of which many are now in ruins. Although most of these rooms originated during the Knights’ period, it is believed that some of these date back to the Medieval period. These rooms were used by farmers residing in the
location throughout the year. KRM also offer a Heritage trail, which is an educational visitor programme for both students and adults. This walk along Manikata Rural Heritage Trail is a way for everyone to experience and learn about the Maltese nature and agriculture. Whilst viewing historical and archeological sites, taste local Maltese bread with olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes. You can also take an opportunity and purchase the local produce.

Once in the locality you might want to consider visiting the Majjistral Nature and History Park which borders with the Manikata, and is known as the first Natural Park set up on the Maltese Islands. The beauty of the pure Maltese nature gives its visitors a rare experience in very developed Malta; of walking in history and wilderness. It is located in the Northwest Malta and includes the coastal area from Golden Bay to il-Prajjet and ix- Xagħra l-Ħamra. This park includes 6 km of designated Natura 2000 area, historical and archeological site.

If you’re in love with nature or would like to enjoy some quiet time in typical Maltese gardens during your holidays in Malta, the Grand Hotel Excelsior offers some unique Malta Holiday Packages for your enjoyment. Browse through our inspirational holiday ideas.

Photo courtesy www.viewingmalta.com

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Discover a New Wonderland this Christmas…

Christmas at Excelsior

Once upon a time, in a far away land, there was a place beyond historical walls. It was a place full of joy and wonder surrounded by seas of the deepest blue and breathtaking views. Alice and her friends discovered this land of make-believe, a beautiful venue which they termed the New Wonderland.

Hence it was decided that they would spend Christmas at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta.

Celebrate the Christmas spirit with your family and friends at this New Wonderland.

Christmas at the Grand Hotel Excelsior…

Call this superior 5 star Hotel in Malta on +356 21 250 520 or email christmasdesk@excelsior.com.mt for more information on how to Live the Grand Life this Festive Season!

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