With summer in Malta comes Festa season. Maltese festas or village feasts are days of celebration where villages celebrate their patron saints in a weekly street party.

Each village around Malta has their one week of festa so practically every week of summer you will find a festa celebration.

A great time to visit any of the villages is the five to six days before the village feast. The town is decorated with flags, banners, lights and statues along with the first band march.

On the day of the festa, the party really gets started with a morning marching band and street party. A carnival atmosphere continues during the day and finishes with a procession of the village patron saint. The statue of the saint is carried by members of the congregation being moved from inside the church along the village main square and then back into the church.

This is often followed by another parade from the marching band along with confetti being thrown from every rooftop and window. The night is capped with a firework display. For the best fireworks in all of Malta, visit Lija for their August feast and Mqabba for their mid-August feast.

Deep-fried doughnuts and pastries called Imqaret are popular treats at the village festas, along with the traditional pastizzi!

Quick facts

  • Every year, around 95 festi are held in Malta and 10 in Gozo
  • Bar a few exceptions, most festi are held between the months of May and September
  • The tradition of the festa started under the rule of the Knights of St John, specifically under Grandmaster De Rohan who ruled the order between 1775 to 1797.
  • Certain villages having multiple parishes celebrate two patron saints whilst others celebrate only one.
  • Sometimes multiple villages/parishes celebrate the same festa. For example, the Santa Maria feast is celebrated on the 15th of August in 9 localities.
  • The key parts of a Maltese village festa are religious processions, band marches, community gatherings, fireworks and traditionally sweets (and nowadays fast food).