Published on Thursday 28 January 2016

Carnival activities this year, will not be limited to Valletta but will also be organised in other towns and villages.

In particular, a Carnival Band Parade will take place in Main Street Ħamrun on Sunday 7th February in the morning. Starting at 10:00, this parade will involve the participation of three carnival floats including King Carnival, five bands, the Ħamrun Scouts Group, satiric grotesque masks and dance companies. There will also be an entertainment stage and a costume competition. Fourteen colourful floats and several grotesque masks will then proceed to Valletta to take part in the parade, which will leave Castille Square and proceed along Merchants Street, St George’s Square and Republic Street. An elevated platform is being set up at Castille Square; this will be accessible to all and will enable wheelchair users and parents with young children in pushchairs to enjoy the festivities with ease. The programme for this year’s carnival events will be launched during a press conference next Saturday 30th Janaury 2016.

Once again, this year’s activities will include the recently revived qarċilla – a carnival farce going back to at least 1760 – which is led by a notary together with a bride and groom, their parents and witnesses. The qarċilla makes fun of contemporary society, using humorous suggestive verse. In this year’s qarċilla written by Immanuel Mifsud, a well-known Maltese author who has just won the National Book Prize with his novel Jutta Heim, the notary will proclaim the marriage between two men.

Festivities which have become an essential and popular part of the Carnival calendar of events will be taking place as usual in the streets of Floriana and Valletta, with St George’s Square being the main focus of activity. These events include the grand défilé as well as competitions for floats and dancing companies. Audiences can also expect new elements which will be introduced in this year’s calendar. One such event will take place on Sunday afternoon at 14:30, when the show which will take place in St George’s Square will be accompanied by a live marching band. This event is being re-introduced to the festivities after an absence of 20 years. On Saturday evening, festivities will also continue into the night, giving merry-makers the opportunity to keep on celebrating. Other events linked to this national celebration will include an exhibition of miniature candy floats, which will also be the subject of a competition between confectioners and hotels. This exhibition can be viewed at Pjazza Teatru Rjal from the 4th to the 9th February.

Seating will be available for events at St George’s Square. Tickets can be purchased online from The event will also be covered live on TVM on Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon and Tuesday evening, giving those who cannot make it to Valletta the opportunity to get a glimpse of the festive and colourful atmosphere from home.

View the Calendar of Events here.