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Carnival in Malta

Carnival in Malta

Carnivals in Malta, as we know them now, were first organized shortly after the Knights of St John came to the Island in 1535. The first that really broke out into the general jollification was probably the Carnival of 1560, when a massed Christian Armada was harbour-bound in Malta before sailing to Tripoli.

The Grand Admiral sent his men ashore while Grand Master La Valette sanctioned the wearing of masks in public, which no doubt helped to ease their inhibitions. This was a marked contrast to the action of Grand Master Lascaris, who in 1639 prohibited the wearing of masks by women under penalty of their being whipped.

Carnival is a big event in the Maltese calendar, with a whole list of event and even special sweets for the occasion. It falls in the early spring and celebrant a whole week.

The main activities of Carnival are held in the streets of the Maltese capital Valletta and Floriana, but other activities are held on various villages in Malta and in Gozo. Moreover, the National Folklore Commission has been for the past years exchanging and organizing various countries. Malta is also one of the active and founder member of the foundation of European Carnival Cities.

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