Lighting up Malta

By | Category: Travel destinations
buildings are lit up at night as well

buildings are lit up at night as well

The skies of the small Island of Malta are accustomed to lighting up with fireworks throughout the year.

Firework displays in Malta are an old tradition and a main feature of celebrations in villages and towns around Malta. Its long history goes back to the time of the Order of the Knights of St John which was born around 1048 for the purpose of building hospitals to care for pilgrims.

The Order adopted the white eight-pointed cross which is still a Maltese symbol even today after 250 years of the rule of the Order in Malta. It used to mark special occasions and welcoming ceremonies for dignitaries with firing a gun salute into the air.

Today’s tradition of complex pyrotechnics and fireworks across the Island is very much alive and an all year round practice which has its roots in musket fire and cannon shots. There are over 30 firework factories on the island which provide hundreds of simple, firing crackers to mechanized and rotating gas tubes, to as many as 70 villages and towns whose displays are part of their local tradition and celebrations.

lots of fireworks and lots of colour

lots of fireworks and lots of colour

Since Malta joined the European Union, the Ministry for Tourism and Malta Tourism Authority has organized an annual International Fireworks Festival. The 14th edition of this festival took place on three nights from 25th April to 2nd May in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, Valletta’s Grand Harbour and in the tourist hub of Bugibba.

The festival has gained an international status, attracting pyrotechnic companies from all over the world to compete and showcase their technical creativity by putting together synchronised musical fireworks displays. Over the years, international participants from Australia, Canada, Venezuela, Italy, Austria, Spain, Portugal and the UK have joined the race to win a special trophy. The UK was the lucky trophy winner in 2014 and this year, , the international competitors were from Thailand and Italy. As yet, the 2015 winners in the international and national levels have not yet been announced.

but you can take a break and eat from one of the many food stands whilst listening to the music

You can take a break and eat from one of the many food stands whilst listening to the music

There is more than just fireworks for the visitor to see and it was a great experience for me to watch the spectacular fireworks, and listen to the musicians. After all, what would fireworks on Malta be like without being accompanied by music? Children got their faces painted and played games along the seafront. Maltese traditional nougat was on sale and restaurants brought their barbecue stands to the middle of the promenade.

If you are visiting Malta between June and September, you should witness spectacular firework displays across the island almost every weekend to  cap the already well-known sightseeing places in Malta and its little neighbor, Gozo.

For more about Malta, click here.

Images and story © Mohammed Reza Amirinia

You can find the images and the video of Fireworks on







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