carnival malta

Where to Stay in Malta To Enjoy Carnival Celebrations 2022

  • Feb 18, 2022

Valletta brims with colourful floats...

Carnival in Malta or Il-Karnival (in Maltese) has a long tradition and is a staple of the Maltese cultural calendar. For a few days in February, Valletta brims with colourful floats, quirky characters and revelry. Want to learn more about the history of Carnival in Malta? Keep reading. 

History of Carnival in Malta

Carnival in Malta has been celebrated since the mid-15th century. By 1535, it had become a bonafide holiday. Birgu was the main Carnival hub. Here, participating knights played games and participated in various tournaments and pageants.

However, in 1639, Grand Master Giovanni Paolo Lascaris banned women from wearing masks or participating in balls at the knights’ palazzos. Still, Carnival remained popular. Fast forward a few decades, and during the British era Carnival served a satirical outlet. By 1926, the festivities were almost entirely moved to the capital city of Valletta.

Today, carnival is held during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday. Valletta has the largest carnival celebrations. However, the Gozitan village of Nadur is known for its “alternative” carnival celebrations. This is where several street parties take place, and more risqué costumes are allowed. 

Carnival Celebrations 2022

This year’s Carnival takes place between February 25 and March 1. However, due to COVID-19, celebrations are greatly reduced. A second one-off event will however be held between the 20th -22nd May where carnival celebrations will be held again.

The 2022 programme includes a photographic exhibition of carnivalesque photography by Frank Kirchner, curated by Antione Farrugia and an exhibition featuring carnival costumes from previous years at Spazju Kreattiv.

In addition, competitive artistic installations will be showcased on various streets of the capital between these dates. A live production of il-Qarċilla – a traditional poetic farce synonymous with Carnival – is also set to take place at Spazju Kreattiv.

Moreover, the historic Manoel Theatre, in collaboration with the TOI TOI Collective, will also produce Il-Karnival fil-Manoel… Kuluri u Fantasija; a live production that includes dance, projections and other children’s activities.

Other carnival workshops will take place in Ta’ Qali Artisan Village. Additionally, the collaborative piece Fra Mudest u l-Pupu tal-Karnival, will take place at the Parish Priest Lia’s Hall in Rabat.

Where to Stay

Casa Ellul is a small luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Valletta. The hotel is just a stone’s throw from all the places mentioned in this article, meaning you can enjoy the Carnival festivities without worrying about how to return to your accommodation. 

With only nine suites, we at Casa Ellul offer a highly personalized service that meets the wishes and needs of each guest. Our service, combined with the amenities and decor of each suite, ensures a truly exceptional stay.