Some hate it; others bear it, while others simply live every day of the year waiting for those five short days, usually in February, when the silliness, the senseless and the idiotic takes over.
Carnival is a passion shared by many people, including the Maltese.
It has been celebrated in Malta since the arrival of the Knights of St. John in 1535, but some studies even date the first carnival revelry back to the year 1470. Up until 1751, carnival was an activity exclusive to Valletta. Nowadays, revellers gather in every corner of the islands during the five days preceding Ash Wednesday from Nadur in Gozo to Ghaxaq in the south of Malta. One thing is for sure, the Maltese have had valid excuses to mark carnival for hundreds of years and the celebrations have come a long way since.
Beyond any doubt the centre of attraction of today’s Maltese Carnival are the grand defiles of floats in the streets of Valletta and Floriana. Though the controversy over the restriction imposed by the authorities on the themes that can be represented in floats has marred the past few editions, the celebrations involving these often ingenious devices remain as colourful and popular as ever.