What is Carnival?
Carnival is a festive season that occurs immediately before the Christian season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February preceding the forty days of Lent leading up to Easter Week. Carnival typically involves a public celebration and parade combining some elements of a circus, masks and public street party. People wear masks during many such celebrations, an overturning of life’s normal things.
The origin of the name Carnival derives from the Italian phrase “Carnevale”, which literally means “meat is allowed” due to the fact that during Lent the consumption of meat was forbidden according to Roman Catholic religion. Therefore, Carnival is traditionally celebrated just prior to the fasting period of Lent in Roman Catholic countries such Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and Malta.
Carnival in Malta
Carnival has had an important place in the Maltese cultural calendar for almost 5 centuries, having been introduced to the Islands by Grand Master Piero de Ponte in 1535. In the 16th century a jousting tournament was held as part of the celebrations. Maltese folk used to celebrate Carnival as did the Knights of St. John.
Nowadays, Carnival is celebrated in numerous towns and villages but especially in Valletta and Floriana in Malta and in Nadur in Gozo. Carnival typically includes masked balls, fancy dress and grotesque mask competitions, lavish late-night parties, a colourful, ticker-tape parade of floats presided over by King Carnival, marching bands and costumed revellers. The carnival week is a time to let your hair down and go with the flow – perfect for those who enjoy a good party!
Food traditionally eaten during carnival includes perlini (multi-coloured, sugar-coated almonds) and the prinjolata, which is a towering assembly of sponge cake, biscuits, almonds and citrus fruits, topped with cream and pine nuts.
The official Carnival festivities take place in Valletta from Friday 5th until “Pancake Tuesday” 9th February 2016. On the last day, a big Carnival defile ends in the main street of Floriana with a fireworks display.
Celebrate Carnival with Club Access 2 leisure
Club Access 2 leisure is offering special warm winter blue sky weeks to enable members to enjoy the Carnival celebrations in Malta or Lanzarote. Please see below for details.
The early bird catches the WARMTH this winter from just £79 per week!
Club Access 2 leisure is once again offering its members an early bird opportunity to catch WARM winter blue sky weeks in a self-catering apartment sleeping up to 6 from December 2015 to March 2016:
• either at the award winning Club Riza in Qawra, Malta at £79* per week between December and February and at £129* per week in March;
• or at Club Los Molinos in Lanzarote where you can enjoy spring like average temperatures of 18°C at £129* per week between December and February.
Book your Malta Airport Transport from our long-serving preferred partners David & Patrick Guntrip and receive a FREE BOTTLE OF BUBBLY to kick off the celebrations this festive season.
To book this and other special offers please contact your Reservations Team by email reservations@A2L.BIZ or by telephone (00356) 21 582 416 now! The following are a selection of upcoming events which you may wish to visit or take part in during your warm winter break in the Maltese islands:
25/31 December: Christmas and New Year celebrations
06 Dec – 04 Jan: Bethlehem in Ghajnsielem live crib & village
16 – 30 January: Valletta International Baroque Festival
06 – 09 February: Carnival celebrations
10 February: Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck
28 February: Vodafone Malta Marathon, Half-Marathon & Walkathon