Christmas in Malta with Kids
Children and Christmas are almost synonymous! Christmas is a special time for kids of all ages and Malta is packed with activities and ideas which your kids will enjoy.
Here are our favourite four ‘Christmas in Malta’ activities:
- Food is an integral part of Maltese culture and most of the local restaurants and hotels will re-write their menu for this special time of the year. Children will enjoy the local chestnut pie, known as “Pastizzott tal-qastan” or the traditional treacle ring, known in Maltese as “Qagħaq tal-għasel”. A large amount of villages organize outdoor food preparation and sampling events which kids are allowed to participate in.
- Crib hunting: Originally introduced to Malta by Italian artisans, the crib-building tradition dates back to the early sixteenth century when locals would re-build in miniature the nativity scene with meticulous detail. Through the month of December every town and village in Malta sets up a crib exhibition sporting the finest examples of local craftsmanship. Your children will love the diversity of materials, texture, size, colour and music which each crib presents. Visit the official ‘Crib society of Malta’ site for an update of their events and yearly reccomendations.
- Sowing your own ‘gulbiena’: An oddly captivating tradition is the growing of Christmas vetches (known in Maltese as ‘gulbiena’ or ‘gurbiena’). Based on ancient oral tradition, light deprived vetches have been a staple Christmas decoration in Malta for several centuries. Kids find the process of growing gulbiena extremely pleasant as the plant grows in no time at all. As a result the experience is a great opportunity to introduce children to botany. See how kids from a school in Fgura prepared their own gulbiena – or view a step-by-step guide for adults.
- Children’s pantomime: Organised annually by Malta’s best theatre companies, the annual pantomime - held at the Manoel Theatre - is a feast of colour, story-telling and explosive laughter. Kids love the experience and parents will appreciate the stunning setting of Europe’s third-oldest working theatre opened in 1732.
Of course Malta’s size and mild climate allow for many other diverse outdoor activities in December including hikes and relaxing walks
. Yet whatever activity you select, there’s one phrase you’ll need to learn for this period; “Il-Milied it-Tajjeb” – which is Maltese for “A very merry Christmas”.