With festa season in full swing here in Malta, we just had to list what to expect when attending such a “feast” – held to celebrate a village’s patron saint – which is an absolute must in the summer months!
Food, drinks, fanfare, and an abundance of merriment pretty much sum up these annual celebrations, which take place in the villages dotting our archipelago’s three inhabited islands: Malta, Gozo, and tiny Comino.
You and your friends might on occasion dress to the nines, sure, but imagine a whole village decked out in bright lights, colorful paraphernalia, and damask drapes – some emblazoned with an image of this or that patron saint.
A feast for your eyes…and your tastebuds
As with any celebration in Malta, a festa wouldn’t be complete without catering to your belly!
Food stalls spring up in virtually every village square or center, with a huge variety of offerings to choose from, especially if you have a sweet tooth. From fast food to doughnuts, you’re bound to find something to your liking at a Maltese feast.
We highly recommend that you keep an eye out for stands selling artisanal nougat or Turkish delight. Not to mention our traditional deep fried date cakes!
The band comes a-marching through
The highlight of any given festa is usually the brass band marching through the village. The band is usually accompanied by a procession in which an effigy of the local patron saint is reverently held aloft.
Meanwhile, crowds of cheering onlookers sing along and sometimes join the procession.
Ending the celebration with a bang
How do you bring a celebration to a crowd-pleasing close? With a noisy and colorful fireworks display, of course!
As it happens, we Maltese are known for our fireworks shows; we’ve been honing our skills for a long time. That’s why, with each festa, people scramble up to the rooftops to marvel at the spectacle of a lit-up night sky.
And each year, every village tries to surpass the show it put on the previous year – or at least outshine the “kazin” (the “club” band) of the next village over. This ongoing one-upmanship means that the celebrations keep getting bigger and better, from the rousing music to the delectable food to the polychromatic attire to the instant paintings in the sky!
Would you like to get to know more about Maltese traditions and events? Our staff would be happy to guide you and ensure that you have the most authentic cultural experience while studying at the American University of Malta!