19 December 2013
It’s hard to be away from home during Christmas time, it’s tough to miss out on your local festivities, the Christmas parades, the carols in the square, sipping mulled wine by a bonfire and ice-skating on a real ice-rink. This year my wife and I decided to stay in Malta over Christmas, so I’ve been on the lookout for events to attend, and ways in which I can celebrate this holiday as the locals do.
Not wanting to miss out on some traditional Christmas caroling we’ll be heading to the beautiful Palazzo de Piro in Mdina to listen to the Children’s Choir, who will be singing traditional carols every Sunday in December. Part of the Maltese Christmas tradition is also the setting up of cribs during advent. To complement our visit to Mdina we will then head right outside it’s walls into the city of Rabat, to visit an exhibition of over 50 cribs in an 18th Century hall at the Dominican Priory.
There is also plenty going on in Valletta; another Christmas crib exhibition being held at the Auberge d’Italie by the Malta Tourism Authority, a Christmas train, and caroling and masses held at the awe inspiring baroque churches which dot the capital’s streets.
Surprises don’t go missing in Malta! While walking down Republic Street in Valletta last weekend I also came across an unexpected Christmas tree with free bottles of Malta’s very own soft drink – Kinnie. What a treat!
What’s Christmas without a hint of shopping? Both Baystreet, in Paceville, and The Point, in Sliema, seem to be offering more than just a shopping opportunity. With an ice-rink opening in Baystreet, and Santa’s house at The Point, it’s sure to make the shop for presents just that little bit more exciting.
Finally we’ll be attending the annual pantomime by MADC; this year it’s Rapunzelstiltskin; and, as you may have guessed, it will mix the stories of both Rapunzel and Rumplestiltskin together. It’s running for two weeks at the MFCC in Ta’ Qali, and the organisers promise it will be a “rambunctious, raucous, and rollickingly rowdy” event.