Tag Archives: things to do in malta

How to Enjoy a Traditional Feast in Malta

Feasts in Malta – A unique feature of the holiday season on the Maltese Islands.

Malta Fireworks Display After the rainy winter months, by end of May, both locals and tourists would be looking forward to the much awaited ‘festa’ season in Malta.

Summer time in Malta is well known for its village feasts. Almost every weekend a town or a village is celebrating its patron saint’s feast. And as is typical with feasts they bring a lot of joy and positive vibes for both locals and tourists alike.

Maltese Feasts Preparations

Malta Feast Procession
A week before the feast the statue of the patron saint is placed in a prominent place in church. Religious functions are organised in church leading up to the feast day.

Malta Feast Decorations

Nothing, not even the summer heat, stops the village enthusiasts from decorating the main streets with decorative banners. All the preparations for the feast are carried out by a group of local volunteers who sacrifice a lot of their free time in order to make sure that their town or village celebrates its feast in style.

Locals also get into the festive spirit by decorating their balconies with lights and pictures of their Patron Saint. House rooftops are also lit up with coloured festoons. From way in advance band clubs start practising the musical programmes and marches which will be played during feast day throughout the streets of the locality.

Feast Celebrations in Malta
On feast day the Maltese village is packed up with traditional and fast food stalls ranging from food kiosks selling burgers, hot dogs and quick snacks; to delicacies and toy stalls. In this lively atmosphere you are sure to witness children rushing around eating sweets and playing with toys their parents bought them from the stalls.

At the traditional stalls you will find typical Maltese nougat – ‘qubbajt’ made following traditional recipes from past generation. Other traditional delicacies also include the delicious “mqaret”. “Mqaret” are pastry stuffed with a concoction of dates fried in oil.

Local Band

In the evening the feast celebrations start with the statue of the patron saint leaving the church accompanied by aerial fireworks. The statue together with the devotees is accompanied by the local band club playing hymns dedicated to the Saint.

As an end to the evening and to the festive celebrations fireworks illuminate the skies saluting the patron saint on its way back to the church. Ground fireworks are also displayed giving the night a spectacular display of colour and sound.

Land Fireworks Malta

All in all Maltese feasts are a great experience for tourists to enjoy. Great food, beer, wine, music, fireworks and great weather… What more can you ask for!!

And for the month of JULY the Grand Hotel Excelsior is offering a Special July Malta Deal bookable by end of June 2013. Book a Deluxe Inland Room and get a FREE upgrade to a Deluxe Partial Sea View Room with a 10% discount.

There are so many Things to do in Malta during your holidays especially in the summer months. So if you would like to enjoy a great holiday in Malta stay in a centrally located hotel near Valletta that offers excellent Accommodation and Facilities. 

Photos courtesy of www.viewingmalta.com

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Things to do in Malta: Prehistoric temples in Malta

 Malta History
 
 
The Mediterranean island of Malta figures in the historical record of Europe due to its association with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. However this small island, of 243 square kilometres, has a far greater importance in European prehistory due to its extraordinary collection of megalithic temples.
  
Malta Archeology
According to the studies of orthodox archaeologists, the remains of bones, fragments of pottery, and marks of fire indicate that human beings have lived on Malta since at least 5200 BC. Evidence suggests, these early people lived in caves, but later built huts and villages. Approximately 1600 years after their arrival in Malta, these people began the formation of stupendous megalithic temples. The ruins now remaining are the bare skeletons of once magnificent structures, mostly roofed over, paved, furnished with doors and curtains, and beautifully decorated with sculptures and paintings.
 
On the Islands of Malta and Gozo, one may find around 23 temples in various states of preservation although the remains of 50 temples have been found. No particular pattern emerges from the distribution of these temples and this may be explained by the probability that numerous temples were destroyed in antiquity and that others remain to be discovered.
 
History of Malta
Amongst these 23 temples is the Hypogeum which is situated in Paola, and was discovered surprisingly by workmen digging at about 3.5 m under the road surface. The word Hypogeum comes from the Greek word “Ipogaina”, which means, “an underground construction sunk into the solid rock.” It is a UNESCO World Heritage site like the other temples in Malta. This underground temple is made up from a set of rooms and caves dug by Copper Age people, most probably between the years 4100 B.C. and 2500 B.C. At the beginning of its existence, the Hypogeum was used as a temple or sanctuary as well as a burial place. This is known due to its architectural resemblance to the freestanding Megalithic Temples outside. However the greatest evidence present is the number of statuettes of the Fat Lady, their goddess of Fertility. A big statue of a “sleeping Lady” was also found in this temple. The discoveries of some 7,000 human bones were also found in the temple and many dead people were found buried with their personal belongings.
 
The megalithic temple of Hagar Qim is another historical wonder situated in the West of Malta, near the village of Qrendi and was built between 3600 B.C. and 3000 B.C. The name Hagar Qim means “free-standing boulders” and was first explored in 1839. Hagar Qim was the third temple to be built in the Maltese Islands and its layout is very similar in shape to the other temples. The original alters previously found in the temple can now be found in the Museum of Archaeology.
 
Though of more recent origin than the great megalithic temples, the Romanesque basilica of Ta’ Pinu in Gozo is of importance as a pilgrimage site. Legends relate that in 1883, a local woman named Carmel Grima heard a voice telling her to pray by a 16th century chapel. A friend, Francesco Portelli, confirmed that he had also heard the voice and thus they prayed together for Francesco’s bedridden mother and she soon experienced a miraculous recovery. More miraculous healings were thereafter reported and from thanksgiving offerings the present sanctuary was built in the 1920’s.The sanctuary incorporates the early chapel, whose original caretaker, Pinu Gauci, lent his name to the site. The Ta’ Pinu Shrine is visited for its healing qualities and is also sacred to sailors. Many locals as well as foreigners visit the site to offer thanksgiving and pay for healings.
 
If you enjoy reading about Malta and its interesting history, contact the chauffeur driven service at one of the top Malta hotels. With a list of Malta Tours and Excursions they will surely help you enjoy unique and memorable Malta holidays.
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