Malta Local Customs

  • Valletta Balconies
    Valletta Balconies
    by balhannah
  • Valletta, Malta
    Valletta, Malta
    by antistar
  • Qbajjar salt pans
    Qbajjar salt pans
    by Tripack

Malta Local Customs

  • Maltese People Abroad...

    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...

  • Bands, Football and Politics

    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....

  • The Good Friday procession.

    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...

  • Pastizzi - Its a way of life.....

    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...

  • Prickly Pears

    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:

  • Kinnie

    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.

  • 'Maltese salad'

    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)OlivesVarious types of beans with seasonings/dressings. The brown...

  • Hobz biz-zejt

    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...

  • Imqaret

    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...

  • Qaghaq tal-ghasel (honey ring cakes)

    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...

  • Pastizzi

    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...

  • Kinnie

    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...

  • Festas

    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...

  • Fireworks

    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...

  • British Legacy!

    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.

  • Bird Hunting

    Whatever your opinion on bird hunting be careful of voicing your opinion out-loud in Malta. Bird Hunting is a hugely popular activity in Malta and along the cliffs all over the islands you will see small stone huts which have been constructed by hunters. It is a hugely controversial issue in Malta and is a hot topic in Brussels with the EU...

  • Language

    The Maltese language (Malti) is very unusual to listen to. It sounds more Arabic than any other European language, due of course to its past and the historical influence of the Ottomans and North African culture. It is a semetic language and is thought to be related closely to the original language of the Phoenicians. It is the only semetic...

  • Wine

    Malta produces a good range of good value wine. Sampled quite a few different varieties and were generally happy with all of them except the cheap ‘Red Label’ brand sold as ‘local wine’ in many of the bars...avoid this one if there is another option. The Marsovin vineyard produces nice red wine in the north of the country. We had a nice bottle from...

  • House Numbers

    It can be confusing walking along the streets in Maltese towns and cities. In Ireland, houses are usually numbered with houses alternating from one side to the other...#1 on the left, #2 on the right, #3 on the left, #4 on the right etc. In Malta it doesn’t work this way with all the houses on one side of the street being numbered in order and at...

  • Rabbit

    Along with the ubiquitous pasta and pizza the most popular dish on Maltese dishes is Rabbit. The national dish is usually cooked in a wine and garlic sauce or served in a type of Stew. If you’re a bunny lover, be prepared to be faced with this option on a huge number of Maltese menus :) Bobbyland restaurant at the Dingli Cliffs is a famous...

  • Cisk

    This local brew went down a lot easier than the Kinnie. Not one of my most memorable foreign samples but was quite agreeable, especially when sitting out in one of Valletta’s many outdoor terraces on a hot day. The cisk brewery also produces the Kinnie soft drink as well a British style Ale called Hopleaf.

  • Kinnie

    The local soft drink in Malta is an unusual tasting mix of bitter oranges and herbs. The ubiquitous drink is sold everywhere in the country from small kiosks to bars and restaurants. I have to admit I didn’t like it at all and after a couple of gulps couldn’t finish the rest. It’s apparently lovely mxed with vodka!!!

  • Eye of Osiris

    The ever watchful ‘Eye of Osiris’ is a popular sight in Egypt and Turkey but I was a little surprised to see it used so much in Malta. The tradition which was actually brought over from Egypt, is common throughout the islands, especially carved onto the bows of the colourful Maltese fishing boats. You will also see the eye over doorways of homes,...

  • Boats

    Malta is famous for its colourful fishing boats. There are different kinds of boats – The luzzu is pointed at both ends, the kajjik is only pointed and one end and the smaller dghajsa looks similar to the Venetian gondola with high curving bows. The best place to see these boats are at Marsaxlokk and around St. Julians and Sliema.The owners of...

  • Maltese Buses

    The Maltese buses are famous in their own right. A huge number of the buses are very old classic buses from the 50’s 60’s and 70’s. The old Bedford, Leyland and AEC buses are brightly coloured in orange and yellow on Malta with more subdued grey and red buses on Gozo. They rattle and shake and are often noisy and uncomfortable but I love them. I...

  • Entering Churches

    The Maltese are a very conservative society when it comes to religion. As one of the oldest Christian societies in the world (Christianity reportedly came to Malta in 60AD with St. Paul accidental arrival on Malta after being shipwrecked) the Maltese are a devoutly Catholic community and you must bear this in mind when entering churches. The...

  • kinnie

    In the Alexandra hotel they handed out martini glasses with a redish drink free so me and Emmie drank a few thinking it was martini and it was alcoholic we both felt a bit stupid when it was kinnie and had no alcohol we both said what's the point drinking that. If you don't like martini's don't drink kinnie if you do like them give it a try.

  • Christmas/New Year in Malta

    If you like partying then definitely stay somewhere in Sliema or St Julians as this is close to the party central of the island - Paceville. It will be packed with people in the Christmas season as students will be out of school and many workers will be on Christmas shutdown. Sliema is also well connected by buses. There's also lots of shops and...

  • Jesus

    Here is a photo of a tree that looks like it has Jesus on the cross on it.The photo isnt very good but Ian was driving past at quite a speed so I was lucky to get it at all.The tree is on the road up to Mdina on your right.

  • Cat home

    Every New Year I have visited the cat home this year because Malta joined the Euro I put all my Malteese money in the box for cat food.In the photo only one cat is visable but the cat home houses quite a few.I almost forgot to write the location it is in Triq Spinola, if you are walking up the bank past Papparazzi it is the first road on your...

  • Vedette

    The stone watchtower, or Vedette, at Senglea Point has eyes and ears sculpted on it to keep it ever watchful and alert. Vedette is literally the French for a mounted sentry, positioned ahead of the troops to serve as a scout.

  • Hobz biz-zeit

    One of my favourite snacks in Malta has to be hobz biz-zeit. It is a thick cut slice of bread with olive oil, tomato paste, tuna, capers onion and olives. There are many variations on this but this is my favorite recipe. I prefer this to any breakfast cereals or croissants and it also makes for an excellent lunch too.

  • Family days

    At the north of the island are a number of small bays. One of them is Armier. My cousin and his family own a summer house here and they often come here for the weekends in the summer. They meet up with friends and other family members. We joined them one Sunday and I can honestly say that it was the best day of our holiday. We went out on my...

  • Balconies

    Although there are a great variety of designs and finishing details, Maltese traditional balconies can be broadly classified under two categories. These are the open type, which can either be in stone or wrought iron with more rare wooden ones, and then there is the more striking closed wooden balcony. Open stone balconies are the oldest type to be...

  • Good Friday Procession

    The Greatest event in Malta. A can't miss attraction if you're visiting Malta in Easter Holidays. Several villages around Malta hold this annual Festival with great effort and dedication. The following is common in all processions. Hundreds of pagaent biblical costumes ranging from a four year old boy holding a lamb to an eighy year old dressed up...

  • Firwework Displays

    Fireworks are normally enjoyed on one-off special occasions throughout the world. Usually on 4th of July, Guy Fawkes, New Year's day or National Day. For the Maltese, it's a daily occurance during the summer months in every Village festa celebrated. And it's not just quantity, but also topline quality !! See my Village Festa tip for a background...

  • Village Festas - When sacred and profane...

    Every village in Malta has got at least one Parish Chirch, at least one Patron Saint, at least one villge band club, at least one firework factory and so on. Said at least cause the MAltese have a way for these festas they go all out. It's not unusual for a village with 1500 inhabitants, celebrate two independant festas with their respective band...

  • Christmas Cribs

    In Christmas time, hundreds of volunteers around the island setup their traditional Crib. This comes to life with Nativity figurines known locali as 'Pasturi'. The pasturi represent Virgin Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the shepherds, animals and other carachters. Some of the cribs have their figurines dressed up with local folklore dress. A great work...

  • Mnarja Festival

    Traditionally, Mdian with it's Cathedral dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul, was the focal point for the Maltese farming population to gather in the ancient city, beautifuly lit up for the occasion, and celebrate both the saints feast and the harvest festival. Mnarja is celebrated on June 29th on a national scale. A typical Maltese folklore...

  • Carnival in Valletta

    Carnival is a festival that lasts 5 days, whereas Sunday and Mardi Gras are the highlights. Children and adolescents dress up in typically bright and colorful costumes. Mostly theyrepresent fantasy heroes, heroines, animals, knights etc. Furthermore, huge carnival carriages are made, very artistically decorated with many pop-up functions to stun...

  • Horses in Malta

    Horses are still a favored means of transportation in both Malta and Gozo. In rural areas you will often see a two-wheeler being pulled by a horse and a man sitting in the small carriage!This is unique of Malta and goes back to history, when the Maltese Knights still used manyhorses. There is also a hippodrome which you can visit near Tarxien.

  • Keys left in doors in Gozo

    This isn't so much a tip as it is an interesting bit of information. In many villages in Gozo, the old custom of leaving the key in the lock of the front door is still around. This was done simply because, the villages being so small and intimate, everyone knew everyone else so there was never any danger of robberies. Even in modern times, you will...

  • Local Food of Malta

    This is a photo of some local food found in Malta. The round rings seen below are called 'Qghaq tal-Ghasel' translated 'Honey Rings' they are made with treacle and are very rich in taste and texture. These are eaten mostly in Christmas.Then in the photo one can see 'Gbjeniet' translated 'cheeselets' there are the soft ones, the plain hard ones and...

  • Cats are Cared For Here!

    We spotted this "Cats Home" along a narrow street in a quiet corner of St Julians. I thought it was really nice that someone had taken the trouble to provide food & shelter for stray cats.There was a little notice alongside the shelter requesting that donations to the cats upkeep be posted through a nearby door - a pat on the back goes to the...

  • Saint pictures at houses

    Most people of Malta (about 98%) are catholic. So it's no wonder that you'll often see religious symbols. At many houses, there are pictures of Saints or Mary & Jesus. It looks nice!


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Malta Local Customs

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