As far as events go, Carnival is probably one of the most attended in Malta and spans 5 days of revelry, colours, costumes, dance and music, where adults, kids and even some dogs get dressed up for the occasion! Yesterday marked the last day of festivities and today we enter the austerity of Lent... nowadays Lent is not observed by many, but this has not made Carnival any less decadent.
Here are 3 things that are particular to Maltese (and Gozitan) Carnival:
1. Carnival in Malta was introduced by the Knights of the Order of St. John and was celebrated for the first time in 1535 in Vittoriosa. Today it is celebrated in various villages, but the main celebration happens in Valletta.
2. The Prinjolata - This colourful, decadent, messy mound of a sweet is the centrepiece of every café's shop window from January and is the first hint that Carnival is round the corner. It is made out of pine nuts (from which it gets its name), sponge or biscuit, candid fruit, chocolate bits and cream.
3. Nadur Carnival - Gozo. Nadur is known for the Grotesque Carnival, which is a carnival for adults. Costumes are macabre, dark and satirical, reflecting an aspect, usually political, of Maltese society that the people are dissatisfied with.
Countdown to Easter starts now!