Three days away from the beginning of the new year, here are some reasons why you should have Gozo on your radar in 2019…
1) February is the month when the island celebrates the feast of Saint Paul’s shipwreck in the coastal village of Marsalforn and also the time when the island picks up the Valentine’s Day theme with a series of events spread from the 1st to the 17th of February.
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2) The end of February and first five consecutive days of March will be a celebration of Carnival – a festival of colour and fun aimed at young and old alike. Join the crowds in Victoria where the main activities take place but do take note that different villages have their own events. In particular, the village of Nadur stands out for its spontaneous Carnival celebrations, that draw crowds who want to experience pure fun.
3) Astra Theatre will be staging the live musical – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat on 30-31st March. An unmissable show for all ages.
4) Gaulitana Festival of Music returns to the island from the 9th of March to the 7th of April. Once again it is a promise of a month-long programme of musical events that encompasses various genres from musical theatre to jazz. The highlight of the festival will be the OPERA+ weekend that will see a full-scale production of Puccini’s Manon Lascout on the 6th of April.
5) Spring on the island is closely tied to Eastertide – a time that will bring to the forefront a rich tapestry of religious faith entwined with traditions that follow through the weeks of Lent, culminating on Palm Sunday in preparation for the Holy Week. The sombre processions and pageants marking the death of Christ are followed by joyous celebrations as the island commemorates the Resurrection, with traditional processions in honour of the Risen Christ .
6) In April Gozo will also host the Fireworks Festival where a number of local and foreign fireworks factories will wow with spectacular displays.
7) April is also the month of the Gozo Half Marathon, one of the main sporting events on the island.
8) May means Gozo Alive and Culture in the City. The 1st to the 5th of May will be a cultural bonanza roping in the arts and also the various outdoor activities that many enjoy in Gozo.
9) Gozo Xterra Trail Run is set for the 4th of May. Consisting of 2 events a 50km router and another shorter one, the trail is set to take around the most stunning views of the island.
10) May is also the time for the Spring Fair that is held in Villa Rundle in Victoria during the 11th and 12th of May.
11) As we come closer to summer, the traditional Gozitan feasts will start rolling in:
- 26th May – St. Paul’s Feast in Munxar
- 9th June – Feast of Corpus Christi in Għasri
- 16th June – Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Fontana
- 23rd June – Feast of St. John the Baptist in Xewkija
- 29th June – Feast of St. Peter & St. Paul in Nadur
- 7th July – Feast of Visitation in Għarb
- 14th July – Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Kerċem
- 21st July – Feast of St. George in Victoria
- 28th July – Feast of St. Margaret in Sannat
- 4th August – Feast of St. Joseph in Qala
- 11th August – Feast of St. Lawrence in San Lawrenz
- 15th August – Feast of Assumption of Our Lady in Victoria
- 25th August – Feast of Assumption of Our Lady in Żebbuġ
- 1st September – Feast of Our Lady of Loreto, Għajnsielem
- 8th September – Feast of Our Lady of Victories, Xagħra
- 15th September – Feast of Our Lady of Graces, Victoria
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12) Other notable musical activities in June are Leon Goes Pop, RockAstra, Opera Vs Pop, and Dcapitals [email protected] But it does not stop there and it is always advisable to check the calendar of events for more!
13) Apart from the feasts happening every weekend, summer in Gozo is also a promise of various events occurring on a weekly basis like Mgarr Fridays, Marsalforn Mondays and I love Xlendi, all of which involve live entertainment. It is also a time during which you can check other festivals like:
- Honey and Bee Fest – 8th June
- Bis-saħħa Wine Festival – 8th June
- Beer Fest – 5th to 7th July
- Evviva Wine Festival – 13th July
- Gozo Ceramics Festival – 3rd August
- Delicata Wine Festival – August
- International Food Festival – August
14) The 22nd edition of the Victoria International Arts Festival will take place from 12th June to 15th July bringing together internationally-established artists and the best local talent in a splurge of daily concerts.
15) As the season unfolds and summer is over, it’s time again for the Qala International Folk Festival which is set for the 20-22nd of September.
16) The celebration of light or Fjakkolata will take place on 13th October when thousands of lanterns will light up the Gozitan countryside.
17) October is traditionally Opera month and the main dates for 2019 are the following:
- La Boheme on the 12th of October at Aurora Theatre
- Il Trovatore on 24th and 26th October at Astra Theatre.
18) The Gozo International Kite Festival that will be led by traditional and professional kite masters will be held in the 3rd week of October.
19) Festival Mediterranea returns from the 19th to 30th November. This annual celebration of culture and art presents a wide variety of cultural events that enrich anyone’s stay on the island.
20) As winter approaches, the island will once again turn into the Island of Joy in preparation for Christmas. The holiday season starting on 30th November right up to 6th January is the time to step into centuries-old Christmas traditions that usher in the Christmas spirit through Christmas markets, various concerts, carol singing and the world-famous real-life nativity scene of Bethlehem f’Għajnsielem.
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