Why You Should Spend Christmas In Valletta!
- Dec 1, 2018
So much to do over the Festive period ...
Twinkling lights and Christmas music fill the streets of Valletta in December. The 2018 European Capital of Culture will be bustling with vibrant events for everyone. There’s no mistaking that it’s Christmas time in the capital because as you enter Valletta you’ll be welcomed by a 35-foot tall Mdina Glass Christmas Tree outside the Parliament building. Valletta glitters like gold at Christmas.
Christmas Processions And Religious Services In Valletta
With Malta being a Catholic country Christmas is a highly celebrated festival for religious and social reasons. Churches across the capital have a calendar of seasonal events, ranging from the procession of Mary and Joseph, to taking to the streets with groups of children carol singing. Cribs are everywhere from private houses to small chapels to roundabouts, some humble and plain, others lavishly decorated. Touring the various ‘presepiu’ is a popular pastime in Valletta across the Christmas period. The attention to detail is astounding with moving figures and meticulous work by many dedicated craftsman.
For Christmas gift shopping the shops stay open late seven days a week to accommodate the increased festive demand. The beautifully lit Republic Street and the neighbouring Merchants Street and St. Lucia Street are pedestrianised, so there is no traffic to stop you from soaking up the festive atmosphere as you shop till you drop.
Christmas Eve in Valletta
Christmas eve in Valletta is truly magical. The lights shine down on you as you make your way to your restaurant of choice for that especially indulgent meal to set you up for the evening. In beautiful Valletta there are plenty of restaurants to choose from for every taste and budget. However, if you want to set the tone for a truly special evening, then Risette is the perfect choice. Here you can indulge in innovative gourmet dishes, paired with the most spectacular wines and all in a fabulously festive atmosphere.
The head chef, Andrew Borg, has designed the seasonal menu to reflect that this really is the most wonderful time of the year. After a wonderful Christmas eve meal, there are many bars you can visit in Valletta where you can enjoy a quiet nightcap before midnight mass. Popular bars include Alchemy Bar with its chic interior for divine cocktails or the chilled San Paolo Naufrago where you can enjoy some wine al fresco.
Midnight Mass In Valletta
The cathedral as well as the very many parish churches have their midnight mass on Christmas Eve. The usual midnight mass includes the tradition, dating back to 1883, of an altar boy (or girl) preaching the sermon, in Maltese, which for this occasion is called ‘Il-Priedka Tat-Tifel’. The sermon is memorized by heart and it usually takes the child a good few weeks to learn. For a very special and spiritual evening join the congregation at St. John’s Co-Cathedral for a candlelit midnight mass. The beautiful baroque interior decked out in papal crimson and the alters adorned with flowers, will set it apart from anywhere else.
Where To Stay In Valletta For An Extra Special Christmas
To make Christmas in Valletta truly memorable for you and your loved ones, staying at Casa Ellul is a must! The stunning boutique hotel is a luxurious combination of the spirit of Valletta’s past, present and future with gorgeous interior design that includes quirky features mixed with traditional architecture. Casa Ellul is situated opposite the Carmelite Church in Old Theatre Street, in the heart of the Christmas celebrations in Valletta. After a meal at Risette, midnight mass and a nightcap at one of the many bars in the twinkling Valletta you will be ready to lay your head down in the most comfortable bed in one of the elegantly designed Casa Ellul suites, and say a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.