The Malta International Fireworks Festival
One thing I can say with all conviction is that Malta LOVES its fireworks.
If you've ever visited at Festa time, then you'll know that they love them soooooo much they even set them off during the day!
The history of Maltese fireworks
Fireworks in Malta are a centuries old tradition.
Indeed the craft of pyrotechnics reaches as far back as the Order of the Knights of St John. The Order used to celebrate the most important feasts with special pyrotechnic displays. Along with very special occasions, for example the election of a Grand Master or a Pope, or the birth of a prince.
Pyrotechnics were undoubtedly inspired by cannon shots and musket fire.
Fast forward to today, there are a staggering 35 firework factories located across the islands, and whilst Festa time is a huge period of celebration it is often very much tinged with sadness and sadly mourning.
There have been so many accidental deaths caused by mishaps during the set up of the displays, as it's still very much a manual process. Bittersweet indeed.
Still its almost seen as a peril of the job and firework production on the islands is an all year round occupation.
So whist you may already be aware of the village Festa, you may not know that there is also a whole festival dedicated to fireworks - The Malta International Fireworks Festival.
Hosted by the Ministry for Tourism and the Malta Tourism Authority, I personally feel it's more of a competition than a festival.
Pyrotechnic Teams travel to the islands from far and wide hoping to bag the first prize in the Pyromusical competition, where the fireworks are set off in time to synchronise perfectly with the rhythm tempo in a piece of music. Past winners include Italy, the US and even us Brits!
I've had the pleasure to be on the islands during the festival, the settings are truly breath-taking, the displays are a kaleidoscope of colours and are absolutely incredulous, add in the phenomenal acoustics and you've got yourself something pretty unique and special which is honestly an emotional watch.
I'm delighted to share with you below this years schedule.
2022 is the 21st edition of the festival and is lining up to be more spectacular than ever!
Qala Gozo – Easter Sunday, 17th April 2022
Mellieħa Malta – Wednesday, 20th April 2022
Mellieħa Malta– Friday, 22nd April 2022
Marsascala Malta – Saturday, 23rd April 2022
Mqabba Malta - Wednesday 27th April 2022
Grand Final - Valletta Malta, Saturday 30 April 2022.
The Grand Final will be in two parts and in two locations,
The Ground display (referred to as the Mechanical display, think Catherine Wheels etc) - Floriana
The Ariel display - Grand Harbour, Valletta
There's a super spot to watch the Ariel Display, at the bastions right next to The Bridge Bar, trust me, you won't be disappointed, and The Bridge Bar is fabulous.
If you have a holiday in Malta or Gozo during this time, I'd heartily recommend you working a visit into your schedule. I promise you you'll have a ball!
Until next time my lovelies
Images courtesy of Visit Malta and The Malta International Fireworks Festival.