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Religious Feasts

The summer festas are a real opportunity to enjoy local traditions central to village life, while you mingle with the locals who are all to eager to share their passion for the feast. During the summer months between May and September, there is rarely a weekend when a village festa is not being celebrated somewhere on the islands. There are usually two or more festas being held every weekend.

In each of the villages in Malta and Gozo, the festa is the main social event of the year. Nowadays, celebrations start around a week before the actual feast day. Band marches and musical performances are organized in the streets and a full weeklong schedule of religious functions is organized in the local parish church.

During the balmy evenings, families meet in the village square to chat and share a meal, while the children run around the colourful kiosks to taste traditional festa snacks like the rich almond nougat.

Every year, the feasts become more and more demanding. Parishes compete among themselves to produce the best feast on the island, pooling in considerable donations from villagers and clubs to add new elements to the feast each year, like a new statue or more majestic tapestries. The inhabitants of the town or village add to the street banners and lights by raising flags on their rooftops and decorating their own balconies with festoons coloured according to the feast they are supporting.

Festa week is the result of months of hard work by village volunteers, ending in a grand finale on the actual feast day. The celebrations include magnificent firework displays, brass band music from the two competing village band clubs and a religious procession through the streets where locals carry the enormous statue of their patron saint on their shoulders. 

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