Carnival 2014 in Valletta

Programme of Events: Malta Carnival 2014

Thursday 27th February, 2014 - 5.30 pm The programme includes the official hoisting of the Carnival flag at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, Valletta including a re-enactment of the Carnival bandu by the traditionally dressed Grandmaster and soldiers. Parliamentary secretary for culture Jose’ Herrera, Carnival director Jason Busuttil and Valletta mayor Alexiei Dingli will address the media.

Friday 28th February, 2014 - 5.30 pm Dancing Costume Competitions Sections C, B and A followed by King Carnival, Grotesque Masks, Floats Section A and Section B. Seated arena tickets €5. Tickets

Saturday 1st March, 2014 - 9.30 am Children’s Carnival with the participation of various dancing schools followed by a defile with the participation of King Carnival, isolated masks and Societa Mużikali Banda Maria Regina. Seated arena tickets €5. Tickets

4.00 pm Dancing Costume Competitions Sections C, B and A followed by King Carnival triumphal float, Grotesque Masks, Band and Triumphal floats Sections C, B and A and special guests from Notting Hill Carnival. Arena Seating Tickets €10. Tickets

5.00 pm Defile along the streets of Valletta with the participation of triumphal floats, bands, grotesque masks and special guests from Notting Hill Carnival. Simultaneously other Carnival events will be held in various areas in Valletta, till late; amongst which a live band by George Curmi il-Puse and friends at Great Siege Square from 8.30 pm onwards. Il-qarċilla will be held in various areas around Valletta, De Valette Square, Strait Street, and Great Siege Square. Carnival activity at Pjazza Teatru Rjal will also be held, during which a competition will be held to crown this year’s National Carnival Queen. Another variety show will be held at St George’s Square from 9.00 p.m. onwards.

Sunday 2nd March, 2014 - 12.30 pm Carnival Grand Defile starting from Castille Square, Merchants Street, Archbishop Street, proceeding to the Carnival Arena at St George’s Square. After St. George’s Square the defile continues along Republic Street up to City Gate.

2.30 pm Grand Carnival Spectacle with the participation of Dancing Companies in Costume, Company floats Section A and B, Triumphal Floats, Grotesque Masks, the band Big Friends Guggen Musik, Satirical Floats, and special guests from Notting Hill Carnival. Arena Seating Tickets €12. Tickets

Monday 3rd March, 2014 - 10.15 am Monday Carnival Parade during the morning with the participation of various dancing schools and satirical isolated masks.

4.30 pm The last night of the dancing costume competitions sections C, B and A followed by the Grand Defile including all triumphal floats, companies in costume and floats, grotesque masks and satrical floats. Special reduced price for Arena Seating Tickets €5. Tickets

Tuesday 4th March, 2014 - 10.15 am Tuesday Carnival Parade during the morning with the participation of various dancing schools and satirical isolated masks.

6.00 pm Carnival Gran Finale along St Anne Street, Floriana with the participation of all items of this year’s Carnival and special guests from Notting Hill Carnival.

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If you enjoy celebrating Carnival in Malta by dressing up, or dressing up the kids, then it’s time to start thinking of bringing down the papier mâché, costumes and masks from the rafters or getting yourself some new ones! This colourful feast, Il-Karnival tal-Belt, which is a 400 year old tradition that’s been around since the times of the Knights of St.John, is undergoing a revamp this year. Here are a few changes:

Floats (karrijiet tal-Karnival) and grotesque masks (maskli grotteski) with themes of political satire will be introduced.

- Carnival Saturday will boast evening activities along the lines of a Notte Bianca, but with a Carnivalesque theme.

- St George’s Square in Valletta, the original venue where activities were held 40 years ago, will be the where the hub of activities will be held in 2014.

Carnival director, Jason Busuttil, has explained that a defile of floats will be leaving from Merchant Street, Archbishop Street and Republic Street; and exchanges with international carnivals such as those in Viareggio and Notting Hill are in the pipeline.

I’m willing to bet even the most casual observers – by default, if you step outside anywhere in Malta between Friday 28th February and Tuesday 4th March - who are not exactly carnival enthusiasts, will still be looking forward to the typical carnival sweets sold in stalls and confectionery outlets. Especially those abstaining from sugary treats during Lent. In some families it’s practically a tradition in itself to gorge on the smooth, pastel-coloured almond Perlini and chunks of the dome-shaped Prinjolata at every opportunity in the days running up to il-Karnival and during these four days of festivities.

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