It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Malta...
by Teresa Xuereb
'Tis the season to be jolly and to luxuriate in the festive spirit which comes hand in hand with Christmas. Streets are brightened by vibrant lights, Christmas decorations characterise numerous residential and commercial facades, and friends and family unite to celebrate. Although not graced with soft silky snow, Malta's landscape is transformed into a Christmas wonderland, and our islands still boast an array of festive events and activities suitable for all ages.
The much-anticipated holiday season is approaching fast, so here's a rundown of the events being organised locally:
Christmas markets in Malta and Gozo
Brimming with Christmas delicacies, inventive trinkets, creative knickknacks and fun-packed activities for kids, Christmas markets are gaining more and more popularity year after year. They're characterised by an assorted number of artisan stalls offering homemade treats (such as honey and jams), mulled wine, seasonal gourmet food, and authentic handmade novelties which include jewellery, knitwear, woodworks, filigree, arts and crafts, ceramics, and other Christmas decor items. You can definitely expect to get into the festive spirit, get some Christmas shopping done and decorate your own living space as well. These renowned markets also feature an assortment of entertaining activities such as carol singing, train rides and Santa Claus photos for kids. Live cribs are also a common highlight in quite a number of markets.
Where can you visit a Christmas market this year?
The number of villages around Malta and Gozo taking the initiative to organise a Christmas market in their village square is increasing year after year. Swing by the following localities during the holiday season to get into a festive mood:
- Natalis Notabilis: 11-15 December
This renowned Christmas market is back to enrich Rabat's quaint historical streets once again, and this 4th edition is expected to be mightier than the previous ones. With nearly 100 stalls, it has earned the title as the largest Christmas market on the islands.
- Mosta Christmas village: 12-15 December
A live crib, an art competition for kids and adolescents, a train ride with Santa Claus around Mosta and a Christmas concert in the Basilica are just a few of the activities being organised in Mosta in December.
- The Valletta Waterfront Christmas Wonderland: 30 November- 30 December
Free indoor and outdoor activities for all the family will characterise the Valletta Waterfront for a whole month, so make sure you include it in your calendar.
- Gharghur Christmas Market: 30 November- 1 December
- Sliema Christmas Market: 6-8 December
- Milied Skaliz: 6-8 December
- Villagg tal-Milied f' H'Attard: 7-8 December
- Gigantic- Kirkop's Local Christmas Market: 7-8 December
- Festa Milied in B'Kara: 8 December
- Milied fis-Siggiewi: 14 December
- L-Ghaxqa tal-Milied in Ghaxaq: 14-15 December
- Christmas Fair in Bahrija: 15 December
- Milied Melliehi: 19- 22 December
- Milied Zebbugi: 21-22 December
- Christmas market in Gozo: Various dates between 1-22 December, culminating in a Christmas parade on the last day.
Village squares will not be the only spaces transformed into Christmas markets. Several institutions will also be transforming their space into a Christmas wonderland:
- Christmas at the Wignacourt in aid of Fidem Charity Foundation: 30 November
- Hilltop Gardens Christmas Market: 30 November- 1 December
- Christmas Village 2019- Guardian Angel Secondary Education Resource Centre: 30 November- 1 December
- Santa's Warehouse in the Magnificent Palazzo Xara: 29 November- 1 December, 6- 8 December
- Enchanted Village Christmas Market at San Gwann Primary School: 6-8 December
- Christmas at Fort St Angelo: 6-8 December
- Malta Artisan Markets, Grand Christmas Market at Palazzo Parisio: 7-8 December
- Pop-Up Christmas market at 'Souvenirs that don't suck' in Sliema: 7-8, 14-15 December
- Austrian-German Christmas Market at the Labranda Riviera Hotel & Spa: 29 November- 1 December , 6- 8 December, 13-15 December, 20- 24 December
Living a Sustainable Christmas
The holiday season can have quite an impact on the environment if we're not cautious. Here are some events which can inspire you to do your bit in generating less waste:
- Zero Waste Christmas: 12 December
If a greener Christmas is what you intend to achieve, this is one event you cannot miss. An array of workshops will be organised, giving you the opportunity to share your skills and knowledge. Participate in a clothes swap activity, try your hand at an upcycling project (a pallet Christmas tree maybe), create handmade beauty and cleaning products, and give the Furoshiki wrapping method a try.
- Eco Christmas Market: 21-22 December
Taking place in Magazzino Hall at the Valletta Waterfront, you can expect to find a variety of sustainable Christmas gifts in this eco market.
Fun Christmas Activities for the Kids
- Festive Family Days at BigMat: 8, 13 December
Your kids won't mind joining you for errands at BigMat during the two fun days they're organising in December. From photos with Santa Claus, balloon animals by Santa's elves, Hama Beads crafts, free sweets, popcorn and candy floss, these days will surely boost your Christmas spirit.
- Christmas at l-Arka ta' Noe: 21 December
This unique fun-packed family event with jumping castles, entertainment and interaction with the reptiles, will surely be a hit with the kids.
Take your kids to this enchanting event where children will be preparing cookies and hot chocolate for Father Christmas with Mother Christmas. They will sing Christmas carols for him, have breakfast or afternoon tea together and enjoy a Christmas show by Santa's elf. What a memorable experience this will be for your kids.
- Comedy Knights Juniors: Holly & The Dreamcatcher: Between 20-30 December
The renowned Comedy Knights are back with a fun and interactive event for the whole family at Teatru Salesjan. An intriguing show revolving around Christmas dreams, the little ones will surely have a good time with some of Malta's theatre veterans.
Christmas Shows you can't miss
- Magical Christmas Concert : 6-8, 13 December
Visit the City Theatre on these three days as it is transformed into an enchanting space where the Malta National Children's Choir, together with Disney characters, will be performing well-known Christmas songs and the latest hits amidst intriguing audio-visual animations.
- First ever Ice Show in Malta- Jesters' Wedding: 13 December
Relish this unique ice show taking place in the Independence Arena in Floriana and watch renowned skating stars perform an adaptation of the Crystal Palace ballet.
- Comedy Knights 007: Licence to Laugh: 26 December- 12 January
End the holiday season with a smile on your face with this annual Christmas show. Satirical and comic in nature, this witty show will have you in stitches in no time.
Book your Christmas Pantos Today
- The Little Mermaid- The Panto Under the Sea: 22 December- 5 January at the Teatru Manoel
- Aladin (a Maltese panto): 22 December- 5 January at the Catholic Institute
- Robin u Hood (a Maltese panto from Bronk Productions) : 22 December- 12 January at Sir Temi Zammit Hall
- Aladdin- the Original Panto: 23 December- 4 January at MFCC
Get moving with these Christmas Races
- Reindeer Run: 21 December
This fun run being held on the Sliema promenade will surely enrich your Christmas mood. Don your Christmas jumper, conquer the easy challenges you'll encounter throughout the race, and earn some Christmas treats.
- Mdina 2 Spinola Xmas Road Race: 22 December
Get your groove on at a Christmas party
- Christmas Open Bar at l-Arka ta' Noe: 20 December
- Rewind Christmas Eve hosted by Ryan Spiteri at Gianpula Main Room
- Charles Bar- Christmas Eve Party
Feast upon local Christmas treats
It's the season to gather family and friends together and pig out at one of the local restaurants organising Christmas Breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Make sure you book as early as possible to avoid disappointment!
Have we sorted out all your holidays until the New Year? I guess so! Also check out how to spend time with your family this festive season, things to do on Christmas Eve and movies to watch during the holidays.
Enjoy the festive days coming your way and keep on discovering local with Yellow.