The Feast of St.Paul’s Shipwreck in Valletta – 10th February
- Feb 4, 2020
The 10th February is a special day in Valletta’s calendar.
The 10th of February is a national holiday, and a day of processions, religious ceremony and family get togethers. It celebrates Malta’s patron saint, the apostle Paul, and his stay in Malta which is noted in the Acts of the New Testament. Around the year A.D 60 his ship was wrecked near Malta. When he landed on the island he was bitten by a poisonous snake and this led the people to belief that this was faith, as he might be a murderer or wrong-doer. But he survived which in turn made the locals believe that he was good and powerful. He went on to heal the sick and the disabled of the island, including the governor, Publius. The Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck has celebrated his time on the island ever since and Valletta is home to the Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck, which was built in the late 16th century.
Events In Valletta On The 10th February
If you’ll be Valletta on 10thFebruary then you will be at the heart of the celebrations. You won’t have to look hard to find merriment and tradition.
Fireworks – Grand Harbour
The day starts with fireworks at Malta’s Grand Harbour before the first morning mass. You can see the fireworks from the Upper Barrakka Gardens or take a seat down at the harbour itself.
Church Services – Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck
Everyone is welcome to attend the services at the patron saint’s church but do expect it to be very busy. The church is well worth a visit because aside from the service itself, the building is full of art and artifacts relating to St. Paul, including a stunning painted carved wooden statue from the 17th century, a beautiful altarpiece, paintings, and a bone that is believed to be his wrist bone.
If you can’t make it to the church, then you will still have the chance to join the crowds outside to see the ancient statue of St. Paul as it is paraded through the streets of Valletta amid the celebrations of the day. Merchant street is lavishly decorated with red and gold banners hanging from the side of the buildings and across the street, and bright confetti falls through the sky as the statue makes its way to Republic Street to the sound of a marching band, and people praying to the statue.
Where To Stay In Valletta…
If you’re looking for a romantic hotel to stay in during the festivities in February and into Valentines weekend then a baroque boutique hotel like Casa Ellul on Old Theatre Street is perfect and easy to walk to and from the parish of St. Paul. The hotel overlooks a beautiful church and has luxury suites including one with its own piano, and two with their own rooftop terraces where you can soak in the hot tub and watch the streets come alive, or finish the day with some romantic stargazing.