Betlehem f'Ghajnsielem - 6th December 2015 till 4th January 2016
Location: Ghajnsielem Gozo
Experience the timeless story of Nativity
Somewhere, on the tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean, several local volunteers are in the final touches stage for the 6th edition of Betlehem f'Ghajnsielem, the event that has enchanted thousands of visitors over the past few years. The nativity village is situated adjacent to Ghajnsielem main square, on the island of Gozo, just 5 minutes by walk from Mgarr Harbor. Appropriately ''Betlehem f'Ghajnsielem'', this life size crib, constructed on 20,000 square meters (sqm) of field on a stretch of land knows as Ta' Passi, comes to life during the month of December with about 150 actors taking visitors back in time to Judea of 2000 years ago. The athmosphere will simply be unique.... horses turn mills, villagers go about their jobs, shepherds inhabit caves, animals roam in enclosed spaces and a poor unknown couple tend their newly-born in a grotto... It promises to bring the timeless Christmas story to life as never before.
Carnival - 5th February 2016 till 9th February 2016
Carnival week is one of the most colourful events in Gozo. It provides 5 days of revelty with young and old dressing up in colourful costumes and beautiful or grotesquen masks. The main activities take place in the town of Victoria (ir-Rabat) and in Nadur. Celebrations in Rabat include parades with floats, costumes and rhythmic dance. Carnival in Nadur is deeply traditional and essentially spontaneous. Here, the purpose of costumes is disguise - it is pure fun, a concoction of costumes that make people unrecognisable and most remain silent to aid their disguise, gaining the Nadur celebrations the sobriquet, the silent carnival.
Nadur Spontaneous Carnival - 5th February 2016 till 9th February 2016
Location: December 13th Street, St. Peter & Paul Square and the surrounding streets of Nadur
Sunset invites a maltitude of masks and hooded creatures to throng the streets of Nadur. The creativity of those taking part and the many visitors have earned it other names such as grotesque carnival. A unique experience.
13th December Street, St. Peter & Paul Square and the surrounding streets, beginning after sunset each day last ing till the early morning hours.
Il-Gostra - First Sunday of September
The Gostra is held on the first Sunday of September. Once a very popular summer event in many fishing villages, it has survived only in Xlendi
This traditional sport consists of competitors climbing (running) a greased pole projecting from a headland onto the sea to grasp a flag at its end. Both winners and losers end up in the sea.
There are several other traditional sports activities on the same Sunday that coincide with the celebration of the village festas.
Victory Day - 8th September
Victory day is celebrated on the 8th of September and is of great importance to the Maltese.
On this day the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is celebrated, as well as the end of the 1565 Great Siege, when the knights aided by the Maltese inflicted on the Turks a great defeat.
Every year there is a pontifical mass held at the cathedral and a military parade in Pjazza Indipendenza. A scholar delivers a speech to commemorate what is perhaps the greatest victory in Maltese history.
Qala International Folk Fest - 16th - 18th September 2016 (Estimated date)
Location: Qala Square
The little village of Qala is located in Gozo, the second island in size of Malta. The village holds, in the second half of September, an international folk festival. Local and guest bands participate in the six days of the festival.
The music, dance, singing, colourful clothes, and the antique atmosphere turn the quiet village to a fascinating center of cultures and multinational folklore traditions.
Despite a population of only 30,000 souls, Gozo has two opera houses in ir-Rabat, the Astra Theatre and the Aurora Opera House. Each puts on at least one fully staged opera a year, often with international soloists. Infact, this opera season is now a regular appointment for opera enthusiasts.
The Aurora Opera House is proud to announce the return of Bizet's all-time favourite opera in 4 acts, CARMEN, in a completely new production on October 2016. Brimming with back-to-back popular classical choruses and arias, the Spanish-set opera, full of toreadors, handsome soldiers and seducing ladies, speaks of a love that not even death can tame. It comes to life (and a tragic death) at the Aurora Opera House on October 15th, 2016.
On the 27th and the 29th October 2016, Verdi’s masterpiece and all-time favorite AIDA is being performed at the Teatru Astra, Victoria, Gozo. If Verdi’s name stands for Italian Opera, than AIDA stands for Verdi: you cannot get beyond AIDA in Italian Opera. Intimacy and Grandeur: superb and poignant music from the word go. Pharaonic in concept and execution.
“If only English National opera and Covent Garden had that sense of cutthroat competition, how much edgier London’s operatic life would be.” Opera Now, April 2014.