Belti Culture

Photo: Tomoko Goto

Photo: Tomoko Goto

It’s not hard to believe that the Beltin, the residents of Valletta, are a proud people. The Valletta coat of arms depicts a lion against a red background – a very appropriate symbol.

Valletta residents share a strong sense of community, bonding together like one big family. They are joined together by three parishes: St Paul, St Dominic and St Augustine. Another magnificent church but which is not a parish, is that dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Old Theatre Street.  In fact, there are four large feasts (distinct from the smaller festi  that may seem spontaneous to the untrained eye), these are: St Paul’s Shipwreck (10th February), St Augustine (11th May), Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also known as Il-Madonna tal-Karmnu (16th July) and St Dominic (3rd August).

Maltese festi bring the community together and crowds gather in the streets to take part in processions, socialise, share traditional food and drink. For entertainment, there are spectacular colourful fireworks and music by the local band clubs, of which Valletta has two, La Vallette and King’s Own.

Another huge cultural festivity which takes place in Valletta, but is celebrated by everyone on the island, is Carnival. In the Carnival period, people dress up in costumes and dance on floats created by local craftsmen. It is a celebration of music and colour enjoyed by children and adults alike that surely should not be missed.