Local traditions and culture in Malta

  • Valletta Balconies
    Valletta Balconies
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    Valletta, Malta
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    Qbajjar salt pans
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Most Viewed Local Customs in Malta

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    Maltese People Abroad...

    by Propermark Updated May 17, 2013

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    Hi! This is not really a local custom but I didn't know where to put it.
    I've heard a lot of Maltese People went abroad to Australia or England to find better jobs and better living conditions.
    When I was in Malta last time, on the New Year's Eve, I talked to some Maltese girls and they told me they were not so happy in Malta, so it looks like many people wanna leave the islands cause it's too cramped.

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  • Flying.Scotsman's Profile Photo

    Bands, Football and Politics

    by Flying.Scotsman Written Nov 4, 2011

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    If you read the inscriptions on Malta’s buildings, you will notice many clubhouses of football clubs, band clubs, and political party and union clubs. Many of these are open to the public for meals. The interiors of these halls can be extremely interesting. We have only eaten in one, the Naxxar Football club, and the food was basic but excellent. Most villages have their own band club, sometimes 2 where there are 2 saints' days to celebrate. At last count, there were 84 band clubs in Malta.

    Mosta Football Club Political Party club, Balzan Naxxar Football Club
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  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo

    The Good Friday procession.

    by Maurizioago Updated Sep 3, 2011

    Every year in many towns and villages in Malta a religious procession is held on the Good Friday. I attended the one in Quormi.

    Several large statues are carried by six or eight men on their shoulders. These depict various scenes from the passion and death of Christ. Various people are dressed as Roman soldiers, apostles, prophets and others. During the procession the local band plays some funeral tunes. Well, I liked much these tunes at the procession in Quormi, they weren't too sad.

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  • BlueMenagerie's Profile Photo

    Pastizzi - Its a way of life.....

    by BlueMenagerie Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Ever since I was young I remember eating pastizzi. Back then I could eat 6-7 at a time. Now I just about manage 3. A trip to Malta isn't complete without tasting the tradditional pastries for around 12 pence each. Somewhat of a secret recipie kept in families, they contain either ricotta cheese (tar-Rikotta) or peas (tar-pizzelli) wrapped in folded pastry with margerine. They vary slightly from place to place and the ones on Gozo are a lot different but are still delicious. Even when different members of my family have cooked them they never come the same as the real thing.

    If you see signs of the various chains of "Maxims", "Champ" or "Sphinx", then you've found the right place - a Pastizzeriji. They are usually very small hole in the wall type places without anywhere to sit down, and have food windows with other treats such as pizza, pasta, and other pastries. You will see the big pastizzi ovens also.

    The great thing about pastizzi is you can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, take them around someones house as a snack. Just like a cup of tea in England, an ice cream in Florence, or chocolates in Belgium- in Malta Pastizzi is a way of life.

    Pastizzi make me hungry just looking at them!
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    Kinnie

    by Gili_S Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Kinnie is original local soft drink here, it was nice refreshing and different taste for a change, it is made of original formula of oranges and herbs and has a bitter flavour so not exactly for kids.

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    Prickly Pears

    by Josibezz Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Prickly pears grow very well in Malta. They are even making a liquer out of it called "Bajtra" which is what we call prickly pears in Maltese.
    If you would like to know how to peel A PRICKLY PEAR have a look at this site:

    http://www.geocities.com/f_scicluna/prickly.html

    Prickly Pears
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    'Maltese salad'

    by leics Updated Aug 30, 2009

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    You'll see this on the menu in most restaurants and cafes.

    The photo shows an example (from 'Les Deux Baronnes' cafe/restaurant in Valletta).

    It will almost certainly include:

    Maltese sausage (cold, not particularly spicy, very pleasant)

    Maltese cheese (salty)

    Capers (pickled, usually)

    Olives

    Various types of beans with seasonings/dressings. The brown mush on the left is mashed red kidney beans. The beans variations are always delicious, imo.

    Salad leaves/vegetables (some of which may be pickled).

    Very filling, usually very reasonably-priced, definitely a main course rather than just a snack.

    'Maltese salad'
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    Hobz biz-zejt

    by leics Written Aug 30, 2009

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    Why haven't I taken a photo of this? Just forgot, sorry.

    But it's a really excellent beach lunch .........I bet nearly every beachside kiosk/cafe in Malta will serve it, even if it's not on the menu. Ask for 'hobzbiszjet' (sort of)!

    Crusty bread dipped in olive oil, then a layer of pulped tomato. Then capers, olives, garlic......often tuna too (mine always had tuna, and a bit of lettuce as well, and sometimes thin slices of raw onion).

    Really, really nice and very filling. And cheap.

    Maltese coastline
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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Imqaret

    by leics Written Aug 30, 2009

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    Date-filled, deep fried pastries.

    I am told that these can be rather greasy but the one I tried certainly wasn't.

    It was rather good,actually, though I suspect it was slightly over-cooked and browner than it should have been.

    I bought mine from the stall at Valletta bus station (see photo). Very cheap indeed (20 cents), served hot. A good snack whilst wandering.

    Apologies for taking a couple of bites before remembering the photo! :-)

    Imqaret And where I bought it
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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Qaghaq tal-ghasel (honey ring cakes)

    by leics Written Aug 30, 2009

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    These are a 'traditional' Maltese sweet (by which I mean cake/dessert). They are actually a Christmas tradition, but you can now buy them all through the year at bakeries, cafes, street stalls........

    'Short' sweetened pastry in a ring. Huge, for slicing, or small for individual portions. Filled with a mixture of treacle and ground almonds or whatever (recipes vary slightly. I suspect) and slashed so that the filling emerges as they pastry cooks.

    Not nearly as sweet as one might think, and may be a bit dry.....a portion of plain ice-cream can be helpful.

    Qaghaq tal-ghasel
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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Pastizzi

    by leics Written Aug 25, 2009

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    These are filo pastry parcels, filled with either ricotta or with a mushy pea mixture (tastes much nicer than it sounds!).

    You can buy them at any cafe, and bakeries, and hole-in-the-wall places. Tere are slight variants in hape and sie, of course. Some may be a bit greasy, but the one in the (from a stand at Valletta bus station) was absolutely fine.

    I prefer the pea pastizzi, but you will have to try both types to see which you prefer. Of course. :-)

    Pea pastizzi
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    Kinnie

    by leics Written Aug 25, 2009

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    The Maltese love Kinnie, apparently.

    It's a soft drink, made from bitter oranges and herbs.

    I had to taste it, of course. I'm still not entirely sure whether I liked it or not. The bitterness is something I'm not used to, but I can see that it would be very refreshing in the heat.

    You'll find it anywhere which sells soft drinks, at around a euro a bottle (a bit less in less touristy places).

    A 'must-taste' in Malta, at least once.

    And do look at the website. There is something endearingly 70s-ish about its introduction!

    Kinnie
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    Festas

    by pure1942 Written May 10, 2009

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    From the start of May and on through the summer every town and village in Malta puts on its own festa. The festas are celebrations of each town and village’s patron saint and are marked with music, dancing and of course...fireworks. During the festas, which last over several days, the streets of the towns and villages are covered and lined with colourful street banners and decorations. Most festas are held between June and August but we caught one of Valletta’s festas in early May, when the streets were decorated in huge red and yellow banners and live music and bands passed through the narrow streets and locals carry a large statue of the local saint through the streets. The local churches were also covered in lights.

    Valletta Festa Decorations

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    Fireworks

    by pure1942 Written May 10, 2009

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    Fireworks are a huge tradition in Malta with a large number of fireworks factories located all over the island. The Maltese are world-renowned for their fireworks and have been world champions in fireworks competitions, beating heavy weight fireworks traditionalists like China.
    We were lucky enough to visit at the start of May during the fireworks festival and witnessed the spectacular fireworks display over the Grand Harbour.

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    British Legacy!

    by pure1942 Written May 10, 2009

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    All over the country you will see reminders of Britain’s influence in Malta. The red telephone kiosks and letter boxes so common in Britain are dotted all over Malta. Some have been removed but others have been left in place. The old British built buses are another reminder as well as the significant British ex-pat community in Malta.

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