Christmas is a highly celebrated festivity in Malta and Gozo, both for its religious significance a well as in its more social aspect. The season is celebrated to its fullest on the Maltese Islands, with the active participation of many; Nativity scenes, displays of cribs, carol services and other events are organised in each locality.
Christmas street decorations. For a very special, spiritual evening, join the congregation at St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta for candlelit carol singing. Other Baroque parish churches across the Islands are just as awe-inspiring during advent. Their interiors are decked out in papal crimson and altars are adorned with flowers. All churches have a calendar of events, ranging from the procession of Mary and Joseph, to streets with groups of children carol singing.
Cribs are positively everywhere, from private houses to small chapels. Visiting cribs is a popular activity at Christmastime and many locals spend time going round touring the various ‘presepju’ displays. Some are very artistic and elaborate, with figures moving around mechanically and a degree of detail that comes from hours of meticulous work by dedicated craftsmen.
A Christmas highlight, which is popular for children and adults alike, is the annual pantomime held at the Manoel Theatre and at other venues. It’s a happy mix of good slapstick humour for children and satire for adults.
Restaurants, hotels, bars and clubs all have their own entertainment, making for an abundant choice of what to do and see.
On the island of Gozo, special carol singing, Baby Jesus processions by children, concerts and Christmas decor are spread all across the small villages and towns. In the village-by-the-sea of Ghajnsielem, next to Mgarr fishing hamlet and main harbour of the island, one finds the largest animated Christmas village on the Maltese islands. It is locally known as Bethlehem f’Ghajnsielem. Definitely a must visit place while on Gozo! This year’s edition opens on the 11 December 2016 and closes on the 8th January 2017 with the arrival of the Three Kings on horseback.
Please click to see the entire programme of Christmas in Gozo 2016.