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Easter in Malta

13th March 2009 Print

Malta comes alive during Holy Week when the islands play host to religious parades, concerts and public devotions in a demonstration of their uniquely colourful faith - and with airlines opening a number of new routes to Malta there has never been a better time to experience the festivities.

Beginning on Sunday 5th April, Palm Sunday, the Maltese make a public display of faith without parallel in Europe during which the Passion is re-enacted; passing through the sorrow of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday to a joyous finale on Easter Sunday. The celebrations are at once a family occasion and a festival for all in the spring sun.

As is expected Good Friday and Easter Sunday represent the climaxes of the week. On Friday afternoon Valletta is turned into 1st century Jerusalem with the Stations of the Cross re-enacted in pageant through the streets. A procession of Roman soldiers, biblical characters, barefoot penitents and dirge-playing bands depict Jesus’ journey to Golgotha. The towns and villages are filled with stalls selling Maltese delicacies such as sweets made with honey, anchovy pies, and almond filled sweet pastry, intended to be kept until Sunday, when the traditional Lenten fast is broken.

While the rest of the week is given over to the act of remembrance and penance, the church bells on Easter Sunday morning signal the beginning of a day given over to joy. Many towns and villages hold processions with the statute of the Risen Christ, or, as in Victoria on Gozo, a ‘run’ during which the young men of the community sprint with the statue to receive a blessing at the church.

Malta is easily accessible from the UK with British Airways, Air Malta, Ryanair and Easyjet offering flights from as little as £25 one way.

For further information on the Easter celebrations on Malta go to