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Traditions In Malta: All About The Interesting Malta Customs

Traditions hold a symbolic meaning and special significance within a society, and the same goes for Maltese people. Malta is a breathtaking archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea and is known for its different traditions. History tells us that Maltese try to stick to their traditions as they enjoy and believe in them.

Want to know more about Maltese traditions? Well, then keep on reading to know what this small independent little state has to offer in terms of traditions.

Saturday Barbecue In Malta

An interesting tradition of the Maltese people which also is an attractive activity for tourists, is a Saturday barbecue. The answer to the question "What are you doing Saturday evening?" in Malta is usually answered as “Having a family barbecue!”

On Saturdays, the Maltese go to the sea coast to spend time with their families and friends. They take all the tools for cooking barbecues - braziers, skewers, and, of course, meat with them. A barbecue on Saturday always starts in the evening.


This is one of the prominent Malta traditions. When a kid turns one year old, they are made to participate in a tradition known as il-quċċija. In this ceremony, the child is stimulated to crawl towards a selection of objects which the parents have arranged and pick one. The objects that are placed are used as a symbol of a potential future career. The objects usually include Rosary Beads, a hardboiled egg, calculator, stethoscope, and so on.

The tradition started in the 18th century, and traditionally, the boys and girls were presented with stereotypical gender-appropriate items according to society, but now they are usually given the same objects to choose from.

Different Usages Of Bread

After long summers, when the winters make their way to the shores of Malta, it starts to rain a lot. In order to stop the deluge, natives throw a piece of Saint Anthony’s bread onto the side of the road wishing for the rain to stop. Bread leftovers must also be kissed before tossing them into a bin.

Turning Bad Luck And Evils

Maltese place sets of horns above the doorways for turning around bad luck; you can spot it in many old houses in Malta and barns. They also burn small olive branches or leaves to ward off evil forces from their households. The saying ‘tal-aħħar ibaħħar,' meaning 'the last one out burns the leaves' related to this process is quite popular as it’s a tedious and lengthy task.

Perlini On Weddings

Being a Roman Catholic nation, Malta people believes in getting married once and getting it right the first time. So, weddings are a big deal in Malta, and most people opt for a lavish one. Even though the Maltese Weddings are typically lavish, people still like to follow the traditional format. They hold the main ceremony in church and then a party/ dinner in a hall or garden.

To show gratitude, the bride and groom give small tokens of appreciation to the guests, which usually include sugar-coated almond sweets known as Perlini.

Food-Shaped Birthmarks

A unique belief among Maltese people for pregnant women is that they have to eat a little bit of whatever food they smell. If they don’t, the baby will have a birthmark in the shape of the food they smelled but didn’t eat. So don’t be surprised if you see pregnant women randomly holding their noses in Malta as it is one of the most well-known Maltese traditions.

Ghana In Maltese Culture

Maltese has unique traditional folk music known as Għana. Its origin can be traced back to early peasant farmers. It is a common way to pass the recreational time in Malta culture. In the past, women used to sing għana on rooftops or in old communal wash houses. The most known types of għana music are fil-Għoli, tal-Fatt, and Spirtu Pront. Other less known types of għana are bil-Qamsa and Makjetta.

Christmas and New Year foods

Maltese housewives cook traditional dishes for Christmas and New Year. The main course can include; chicken broth, baked chicken with potatoes, baked pork with potatoes, or baked macaroni. The meal is finished off with fresh oranges and tangerines.

When it comes to sweets, Maltese make a variety of sweet pastries like chestnut pie, treacle rings, and chestnut puree. Most people serve sweet pastries with black coffee and orange flower water "ilma żahar."

Malta Traditions

Traditions in Malta are fun, exciting, and closely tied to religion. What makes these Malta traditions unique is Maltese love and respect their traditions. So, next time you are visiting Malta, be a part of these lovely traditions and enjoy a great holiday on the islands of Malta.

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