The Holy Week: Your Easter Guide in Malta 2017

Staying in Malta during the Easter holidays? Perfect timing! Maltese are well known for being devout Catholics, so you guessed it right, Easter in Malta is a major event. From street processions and vivid costume pageants, to tableaux and statue carrying parades staged by many parishes – every town in Malta celebrates Easter with their unique traditions bringing into play many local and tourist volunteers. Here are some most important dates to follow:

Palm Sunday (9th April, 2017)

Palm Sunday (Original Source: Times of Malta)

Officially, the Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday, 9th of April, 2017 and runs till Easter Sunday on 16th of April. Palm Sunday is the day when Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is commemorated one week before His resurrection.

This year, one of the most interesting commemorations is happening in the Għargħur Village which will be transformed into a theatrical space. Together with the traditional procession the village will create an enactment of Jesus crucifixion in a bilingual play allowing English-speaking audience to follow.

More info: Radam, Għargħur

Hamis ix-Xirka or Maundy Thursday (13th April, 2017)

Maundy Thursday (Original Source: Times of Malta)

Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, so you will find countless themed church exhibitions with life size statues depicting Jesus and the Apostles. There is a tradition to make ‘seven visits’ to seven different churches as the tour around island’s decorated Altars of Repose.

Girgenti Torchlight Procession is a unique event that starts in Siggiewi village square and leads the way up to Girgenti hill to the Laferla Cross lightened by the beautiful torchlight. Stations of the Cross depicted and volunteers enacting tableaux are often met on the way – a wonderful adventure and a true experience of Maltese Easter tradition.

Good Friday (14th April, 2017)

Good Friday (Original Source: Times of Malta)

On Good Friday, many Maltese towns and villages commemorate the Passion of the Christ by organising some spectacular processions of statues each representing a scene from the Passion of the Christ. Romans, Jewish priests and other Biblical figures flood the streets sometimes bearing the cross or dragging the chains tied to their bare feet in the remembrance of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion creating an impressive spectacle for the viewers.

It is also a day of mourning and silence, so no bells are rung and no mass is held as well as church decorations are removed with only red left to represent the colour of Christ’s blood.

Zebbug and Xaghra are known for assembling the most memorable processions with the use of horses and extravagant costumes, however, processions take place in many Maltese towns including:

Malta: Birgu (Vittoriosa), Bormla (Senglea), Ghaxaq, Luqa, Mosta, Naxxar, Paola, Qormi, Rabat, Senglea, Valletta, Żebbuġ (Città Rohan) and Żejtun

Gozo: Nadur, Ghajnsielem, Victoria (St. George Basilica and St Maria Cathedral), Nadur, Xewkija, Qala, Xaghra and Żebbuġ

Easter Sunday (15th April, 2017)

Easter Sunday carries a totally different, joyful mood with the church bells resumed and grand masses being held. Towns and villages celebrate the resurrection of Christ with energetic band marches and processions with the statue of the Risen Christ starting at 10.00am in the morning. In the harbour towns of Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, you will witness a group of volunteers carrying an enormous statue of the Ascending Christ. But don’t get too close, the statues are extremely heavy and a falling statue is not a rare thing to happen.

More info: Visit Malta

Traditional Maltese Easter Treats

Easter Figolli (Original Source: Aroma Kitchen)

Don’t forget to try Figolli – traditional Maltese Easter treat. Figolli is a baked sweet pastry shaped in different Easter silhouettes, filled with almonds, coated with icing sugar and colorfully decorated with Easter chocolate eggs and other attributes. Traditionally, Figolli should not be eaten until Easter Sunday, until it is the time to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

Easter lunch is also a popular tradition as it is a perfect time to gather the whole family to celebrate together. The traditional Easter meal is lamb served with baked potatoes and vegetables.

Looking for a place to celebrate with your family after exiting local celebrations?

Have Easter Buffet Lunch with us!


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