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Author: Melisande Aquilina

The Maltese Traditional Balconies

One of the first features many tourists seem to notice when they visit the Maltese islands, are the many traditional colourful balconies which dot mosty historical cities and villages in Malta and Gozo. Colourful, wooden, made of stone, open, or enclosed, these balconies seem to strike a chord when it comes to those who prize architecture, cultural heritage and local customs. Being a defining urban part of the local landscape, traditional balconies enhance and enrich Malta’s streetscape, as well as serving as an architectural map providing epitomes of different architectural styles prevailing during particular periods of history. As such,...

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The Malta Military Tattoo

Apart from denoting the practice of “tattooing”, that is, the marking of the skin with patterns and designs by inserting coloured pigment under the skin, the word “tattoo” also defines a type of military musical performance and display by the armed forces in general. Historically, the reference to such a performance linked to this term originates from the early 17th century, when the Dutch used the phrase “doe den tap toe” (“turn off the tap”), to refer to a routine signal given by drummers as an instruction to innkeepers near military garrisons to stop serving beer, and for the...

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Qormi Bread Festival

After Notte Bianca in Valletta at the end of September, and Birgufest in Vittoriosa at the beginning of October, the island of Malta will be hosting yet another important cultural event, promoting the heritage and traditions of a particular locality. This is Casal Fornaro, or the Bread Festival, which will be taking place in the village of Qormi on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th October. The village of Qormi has been known for its excellent bread and dough products since the time of the Knights of the Order of Saint John, who called Qormi “Casal Fornaro”, meaning “The Baker’s Town”....

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Birgufest 2016

Offering numerous cultural activities and means of entertainment, live shows and a beautiful historic background, Birgufest has become an annual national event, whose aim is to highlight Birgu (also known as Vittoriosa), and its value as a city reflecting in full the Maltese heritage. This year, it will be taking place from Friday 7th October to Sunday 9th October. Organised by the Birgu Local Council, together with the Malta Tourism Authority and various other sponsors, this year’s three-day event will mark the 11th edition of this extravaganza – a plethora of musical performances, historical re-enactments, succulent food stalls, educational...

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Maltese Fireworks

Malta is very well known for its traditional village Festas, celebrating local Parish Patron Saints. One of the most important features which characterise a Maltese Festa, are surely its fireworks or ‘logħob tan-nar‘. These pyrotechnic displays, full of colour and expression, serve as precursors to the celebration, as well as accentuating it, and performing during its climax. It is commonly believed that fireworks in Malta first originated during the medieval period, when the Order of the Knights of Saint John used to fire their muskets, as well as explosives lit from mortars (‘maskli’) as an expression of acknowledgment, respect,...

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