Valletta, Malta carnival in malta
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Carnival capers in Malta over the years

Description

Carnival has been celebrated in Malta for more than 600 years.

Historians believe it started in Vittoriosa, where a number of knights played games and showed off their skills during pageants and tournaments.

In 1560, Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette, reprimanded the knights for going overboard with their festivities after hundreds of people started wearing masks, drinking to excess and dancing wildly in the streets.

Carnival became more popular during the Victoria era, with a number of floats appearing in the streets around the Grand Harbour.

Carnival parades were noted for their biting satirical themes, and many of the intricate floats were designed to poke fun at political figures or unpopular government decisions.

Since 1926, carnival in Malta has been centered in Valletta and Floriana, with prizes awarded for the best costumes, dance routines and best floats.

Spontaneous carnival events are held in Ghaxaq and Nadur, which attract thousands of revelers every year.

Carnival in Malta is usually held during the second weekend of February but has often fell foul of stormy weather.

In 2021, Malta’s Carnival celebrations were cancelled for the first time since the Second World War because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers warned that the traditional festivities could be affected for years to come to halt the spread of the virus.

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