Għanafest – The Musical showcase of Maltese folklore


Combining a series of Mediterranean folk concerts, Għanafest is an annual event held in June at the Argotti Gardens in Floriana.

Organised by the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, this year’s Għanafest is being held on June 10, 11 and 12th presenting a number of ensembles from Malta, Sardinia, Crete and Corsica.

However, Għana is not just about old men. Bringing together a concoction of upbeat rhythms, tunes and a mix of nostalgia, Għana is changing whilst still respecting its musical roots in the past. Previously reserved for humble village bars, Għana has been regaining momentum in recent times. Contemporary culture has paved the way for Għana in modern times. With songs depicting the human condition, problems and struggles, Għanafest celebrates times gone by. 

The festival showcases a selection of local bands, Maltese songwriters and folk musicians from nearby Mediterranean countries that are influenced by folk.  Għanafest also hosts a number of workshops on traditional instruments and a special programme for children. Ideal as a family outing, the festival is further complemented by traditional Maltese food in the beautiful surroundings of the Argotta Gardens in Floriana.

Maltese folk singing entails various genres, including:.

  • Għana tal-Fatt, whereby the singer tells a story in verses relating to tragic events
  • Għana spirtu pront whereby two singers hit out at each other with retorts, and
  • Għana fl-għoli which features stanzas that are sung in high pitched notes.

Find out more about Għana

Did you know?

  • The famous eight-pointed Maltese Cross symbolizes the 8 obligations of the Knights of St John: Truth, faith, repent of sins, humility, justice, merciful, sincere and enduring persecution.
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