If you’re after a festive feeling, Gozo is the place to be. Here’s why Gozo’s truly a Christmas island and what you can enjoy.
1. Not only are the island’s main streets and roads decorated with shimmering Christmas lights, but homes also step up with beautiful facades displays.
2. Visit the Artisan Christmas Fair at the Villa Rundle and other centres like Ta’ Dbiegi Crafts Centre, where traditional arts, crafts and typical foods are sold. And while we’re on the topic of foods, make sure you taste the delights of the season.
3. Attend the titular feast of Santa Lucija, celebrated in the smallest of Gozitan villages. Savour this special winter festive which also coincides with the celebration of the Feast of Light. While in the area check out Gozo’s largest Christmas tree. Spread out over Għar Ilma hill, this 170-metre tree with twinkling lights, spreads the magic of Christmas across the stillness and beauty of the Gozo countryside.
4. Christmas is for children young and old, but if you’re here with your kids, then bookmark the 16th December for World of Children, a fun-packed day for children which will give them the opportunity to meet their favourite characters and enjoy a variety of activities at the Gozo Sports Complex. Another event not to miss out is the Christmas Parade.
5. For the music lovers, a whole string of concerts await. Carols by Candlelight, by Schola Cantorum Jubilate at St. Augustine’s Priory, is an awaited seasonal favourite. Sounding the Joy of Christmas, a concert for trumpet and organ is taking place at St. John the Baptist Rotunda Church;The Grand Christmas Concert by Is-Soċjetà Mużikali Santa Margerita in Sannat, and the annual Christmas concert organised by Chorus Urbanus Productions are just some of the concerts that will be held this weekend. More musical events await over the coming weeks, such as Christmas with the Laudate Pueri Choir held at the Ħagar Museum in Victoria, the first live Christmas Rock Concert with Rock Bands and backing orchestra to be held at Astra Theatre, The Leone Grand Christmas Show at the Aurora Theatre, Saint Mary Philharmonic Society Christmas Concert, “Oh Baby Jesus” and Christmas Eve Carolling by Gaulitanus Choir at Kempinski San Lawrenz. Other concerts over the season include a Christmas Concert with the participation of the Voci Angeliche Choir of the Xagħra Parish, a “Ceremony of Carols” by the Fondazzjoni Santa Ċeċilja, and Dreams of Vienna, an end of year concert by the Għaqda Mużikali Viżitazzjoni of Għarb.
6. For the real Christmas feeling, check out the midnight mass held in the churches all over the island, where as per tradition a boy will recite the sermon. If you’re in Victoria after the midnight mass, take note that a Christmas Concert by DCAPITALS Band will be held, exactly after the midnight mass, at St George’s Basilica. Several locations will hold Christmas pageants and processions to represent the nativity.
7. Maybe nothing beats the atmosphere in the old part of Victoria at night time. Wander around the old narrow streets and admire some of the elaborate house decorations. Stop at the local cafe’ bars for a hot chocolate or some drinks. Make sure you enjoy the twinkling lights and sparkling magic that have turned Villa Rundle Gardens into a Christmas wonderland. And on the 30th Dec, Victoria’s streets will be even more magical. Follow the Trail of Voices, an event that will see five choirs enchant the audience at different Victoria churches.