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Celebrating Easter in Malta: A Tapestry of Tradition, Culture, and Faith


Easter in Malta is not just a religious holiday; it’s a vibrant tapestry interwoven with history, culture, and a profound sense of community. Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, this small island nation comes alive during Easter, offering visitors a unique and enriching experience unlike any other. From solemn religious events to colourful traditions, here’s a glimpse into how Easter in Malta is celebrated and why it’s a must-visit destination during this time of year.

A Historical Journey

To truly understand Easter in Malta, one must delve into its rich history. With a legacy stretching back thousands of years, Malta has been shaped by a multitude of visitors who have tried or succeeded in conquering the island, lending to Malta’s rich and diverse culture. The celebration of Easter is deeply rooted in the country’s Catholic heritage, which dates back to the time of St. Paul, who is said to have brought Christianity to Malta in AD 60 after he was shipwrecked on St. Pauls Island to the north of Malta.

The Maltese Easter Experience

Easter in Malta is a week-long affair, beginning with Palm Sunday and culminating in the joyous celebrations of Easter Sunday. Throughout the week, churches across the island hold solemn processions, re-enactments of the Passion of Christ, and elaborate religious services.

One tradition takes place on Maundy Thursday, where families visit seven churches of their choice to pay tribute to the Alters of Repose. The cafes and streets come alive amongst the hustle and bustle of worshippers moving between different churches.

On Good Friday, various towns and villages take part in stunning religious processions where statues depicting scenes from the Passion are paraded through the streets, accompanied by mournful hymns and prayers. These processions, characterised by their solemnity and reverence, offer a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by Jesus Christ.

Many of the Maltese abstain from eating meat or sweets on Good Friday as a mark of respect for the death of Christ.

But Easter in Malta is not just about solemnity; it’s also a time for celebration. On Easter Sunday, families gather for a festive meal, featuring traditional Maltese dishes such as roast lamb, figolli (almond-filled pastries), and kwareżimal (a sweet Lenten pastry). Homes and churches are adorned with colourful decorations, and the air is filled with the sound of church bells and cheerful greetings of “l-Għid it-Tajjeb”.

Cultural Traditions and Customs

Beyond its religious significance, Easter in Malta is also marked by a variety of cultural traditions and customs. One such tradition is the Ħanżir ta’ l-Isem, or the blessing of the lambs, where farmers bring their lambs to be blessed by the parish priest. This age-old custom symbolizes renewal and fertility, echoing the themes of rebirth central to the Easter story.

Another beloved tradition is the making and giving of figolli, sweet almond-filled pastries shaped like Easter eggs, bunnies, and other symbols of the season. Families come together to bake and decorate these delicious treats, or one will find delicious pre-made figolli in supermarkets and bakeries.

Why You Should Visit Malta During Easter

For tourists, Easter in Malta offers a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the island’s rich culture and traditions. From witnessing the solemn processions to indulging in delicious Easter treats, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Moreover, Easter in Malta provides a glimpse into the deep sense of community and faith that defines Maltese culture. Whether you’re exploring the historic streets of Valletta, attending a church service in a quaint village church, or simply soaking in the breath taking views of the Mediterranean, Easter in Malta is a truly unforgettable experience.

With The Phoenicia Malta situated just a few steps away from Valletta’s City Gate, a stay at our iconic hotel would be one of the best places to be during Easter in Malta. With our luxury spa, various dining options, luscious gardens, and links all over the island via the nearby bus terminus, you are sure to experience complete luxury, relaxation, and convenience.

figolli malta


garden phoenicia malta

The Phoenicia Malta gardens



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