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Five festivals to visit in Malta this October

By Sophie Demetriades on 11th September 2016

Islands offer an array of events filled with an eclectic mix of history, culture, music and gastronomy. Discover the characteristic Maltese spirit by taking part in some of these exciting events. Here’s a lowdown of what’s taking place:

1. Notte Bianca

Experience the one-night spectacle, Notte Bianca on 1st October, which will kick off the autumn season with a bang. The fortified capital city, Valletta, which is due to become the European Capital of Culture in 2018, will turn into a hub of cultural activity. State palaces, museums and other cultural venues keep their doors open through the night, playing host to an extensive programme of entertainment. This spectacular night-long celebration has something for everyone, from cultural events and performing arts to live music and fairs.

Explore the historic streets of Malta this October. Image Credit: pixabay.com
Explore the historic streets of Malta this October. Image Credit: pixabay.com

2. Birgufest

One of the most popular events of the year is Birgufest, which takes place in Birgu, one of Malta’s oldest and most historic cities, on 8-9th October. This quaint city hosts various activities so you can immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture and history. Activities include historic re-enactments, guided tours around the city, dance and music performances. The highlight of the festival is Birgu by Candlelight, a special event whereby the whole city is covered and lit by nothing but thousands of candles. The gentle glow of the candles create a romantic and truly wonderful atmosphere while also highlighting Birgu’s historic and architectural beauty.

3. Malta Military Tattoo Festival

The Malta Military Tattoo Festival on 15-16th October allows you to experience an exciting and vibrant blend of music, precision marching and gymnastic displays. This unique event reflects Malta’s Military music heritage, showcasing the talents of 150 local and world-renowned artists. This yearly event features military bands performing a mix of popular and classical tunes, providing a spectacular show for audiences of all ages.

The beautiful city of Malta. Image Credit: pixabay.com
The beautiful city of Malta. Image Credit: pixabay.com

4. Ħamrun Chocolate Festival

Indulge your sweet tooth at the Ħamrun Chocolate Festival on 22nd October. It is a chocoholic’s delight, turning the use of chocolate into an art form. Everything from chocolate paintings to 3D sculptures will be on show as well as a wide range of chocolate products. This festival of sweet sins submerges visitors in an atmosphere of indulgence and pure enjoyment.

5. Mediterranea Festival

2016 sees the 15th edition of the Mediterranea Festival on Malta’s sister island Gozo, glorifying its cultural and artistic life. The mid-autumn festival offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor events. Visitors can attend opera and music festivals, enjoy talks and exhibitions about Gozo’s temples and archaeological sites or explore Gozo’s local gastronomy at one of their many food and drink events. Festival Mediterranea gives visitors the opportunity to embark on their own cultural expedition spanning across the island’s sevens thousand years of history, running from 27th October – 19th November.

The sea and city of Malta. Image Credit: pixabay.com.
The sea and city of Malta. Image Credit: pixabay.com.

Year round preparations take place for each of these joyous events, ensuring a memorable experience for visitors and locals alike. While these particular events are focused in October, there are plenty of colorful festivities that take place throughout the year. With mild temperatures all year round, October is the perfect time for a Malta getaway.

For more information on upcoming festivals, go to visitmalta.com

Main image at the top of the article image credit: pixabay.com.