24th to 28th February 2017
Karnival, the Maltese carnival, is the last chance to pig on childlike fun before the gravitas of Lent.
Celebrated in Malta since the 15th century, Carnival has been the island people's safety valve as well as that for the Knights of the Order of St John who took the opportunity to let go of their inhibitions (as well as their religious vows). Grand Master La Valette went down in history as a killjoy for forbidding the wearing of masks in public during Carnival.
These days the main events of the Karnival centre around Valletta and are aimed at children but Gozo (Malta's sister island) is known for a more adult and darker carnival in the village of Nadur.