1 MARCH - 5 MARCH 2019

Under the artistic direction of Jason Busuttil

Il-Karnival ta’ Malta is one of the oldest historical festivals in Malta, with just under five centuries of credited and documented history dating back to the Knight’s of St John’s occupancy in Malta. New artistic creations are born while traditions are kept alive and revived, particularly with the revival of satire, a fundamental facet to the historical Maltese Karnival. Infact, an artistic float has been purposely designed and dedicated to the EU Presidency in Malta for the 2017 edition of Carnival. The design was created by Steve Bell, renowned English political cartoonist.

It is a festival that gels the community together, with a non-discriminatory participation of all from differing ages  and social backgrounds. Il-Karnival ta’ Malta is one of the world’s unique carnivals whereby a celebration of artistic floats, dances and elaborate costumes are entwined with the grotesque and satire, making the genre exclusively a ‘maltese carnivalesque’. 

This one-of-a-kind modern take on the historical festival has provided a platform for artists to showcase their creations for the past 91 years. It brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate Il-Karnival ta’ Malta. Spreading over six days, the festival is celebrated across the island with the main activities happening in Valletta, such as educational hands-on workshops which boost the common knowledge of Carnival within the Maltese community. It is a historical, traditional event organised within a spontaneous space that is either choreographed or improvised interactive theatricality.

Another aim of Carnival is to promote a healthy, collaborative festival where Carnival participants can share experiences in unified spaces around the city, the villages and the sister island of Gozo. This interdisciplinary festival brings together artistic works that cohesively and unilaterally educate audiences on same grounds, spaces and spheres, through a unique experience.

Another important aim for this historical festival is to diversify and be all-inclusive thus giving the possibility to reach and attract new audiences, including those who have never experienced the colourful world of Carnival. Whilst respecting heritage and traditions, it also pushes forward to revive past rituals, maintaining the philosophy of fun, entertainment and spontaneous merriment – the core of the festival encapsulates a joyful and social gathering while simultaneously adding more innovative approaches to further enrich past and present customs.

Throughout the years, Il-Karnival ta’ Malta has striven to improve the quality of its installations as well as provide a decent space where these creations can be produced, exhibited and stored. It is through this shift in mindset that a new project entitled The Malta Carnival Experience Project has been thought of, planned out and will soon become a reality. The new project will see to the construction of a Carnival village, which will be enjoyed by all throughout the whole year.