Carnival has had an important place in the Maltese cultural calendar for just under five centuries, having been celebrated since the mid-15th century.
Festivities are usually held in February during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday, and typically includes masked balls, fancy dress and grotesque mask competitions, as well as a parade of floats marching bands and costumed revelers.
Carnival in Malta started in Vittoriosa, where a number of knights played games and displayed their skills in various pageants and tournaments.
Since the 1920s, carnival in Malta has been centered in and around Valletta and Floriana, however there are several ‘spontaneous’ carnivals elsewhere.
Carnival in Gozo was first organised in 1952 with floats and parades in the centre of Victoria and in Nadur.
The Nadur Carnival in Gozo is notable for its darker, wilder and more risqué themes where revellers dress up in ghost costumes, horror masks or as the main political figures of the day.
Carnival week has always been a time to let your hair down and go with the flow.