The Summer Carnival celebrations

Carnival - Dancers

A successful event for the past three years, popular with the Maltese community but especially with tourists who visit the Maltese islands in the summer months, the Summer Carnival is being organised once again from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st August.

For the first time in four years, this year’s festivities will include the introduction of a carnival parade along the Marsaskala promenade on Sunday 21st from 19:00 onwards. This is the first time that the summer carnival is also reaching the southern part of the island, allowing participants and passers-by alike to enjoy the vibrant and festive activities across different parts of the island. The rest of the programme will take place as usual in Buġibba, a tourist hotspot where the summer carnival is quickly becoming an awaited, yearly event. On both Friday 19th and Saturday 20th, the traditional ġostra will be taking place at the bay below Buġibba square. This will be followed by a défilé and parade along the main streets of Buġibba.

The ġostra is a traditional game which goes back to the Knights’ period. The word is derived from the Italian giostra, meaning tournament. Locally, however, it refers to a game in which a large pole is mounted on a barge or on a pier, and smeared with grease and animal fat. Competitors would then climb up the pole to reach flags placed at its top and claim a prize, while those who slip would fall into the sea.

This year’s défilé and carnival parade will see the participation of seven dance companies who will perform in the square and during the défilé in their carnival costumes, and the colourful atmosphere will be further enhanced by eleven new floats which have been created specifically for this event.


The Summer Carnival celebrations are organized by Arts Council Malta with the support of the Valletta 2018 Foundation, the Malta Tourism Authority, and the local councils of St Paul’s Bay and Marsaskala.


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