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January 2021

Malta’s Unique Carnival Cancelled for the First Time Since World War 2

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Malta’s Unique Carnival Cancelled for the First Time Since World War 2

Monday 25 Jan 2021

As we progress through the new year, within just a couple of days, we would normally be looking forward to Carnival. A yearly event in which both adults and children rejoice for some fun and quality time. 

Why do we look forward to Carnival?

Carnival represents five days of fun-filled activities, colours, competitions, events and the traditional “karrijiet”. The festivities of Carnival take place just before Lent, prior to Ash Wednesday, to be exact. Children would typically look forward to Carnival due to the school holidays which accompany it. Families normally make their way to Valletta to enjoy the brimming atmosphere, music and people in costumes.

malta carnival

Photo Credit: Zarb Coaches

Carnival’s background and its relevance today

The celebration of Carnival can be traced back to the 1400s. This event used to be celebrated in a grandeur style by The Knights of St. John where they used to enjoy strength competitions and balls. It is quite remarkable that Carnival managed to survive throughout all these years. Although it has evolved into something a bit different, the activities are enjoyed in full swing, with the main parades taking place in both Valletta and Floriana. It is also quite common that balls and parties are organised in both Malta and Gozo. Such parties would typically consist of attendees being dressed up with face masks and other colourful costumes.

Photo Credit: MyGuideMalta

It is also customary that young people would celebrate Carnival in Nadur. The celebrations taking place in Nadur would normally be a bit different than the ones in Valletta or Floriana. This Carnival is not usually televised and gathers quite some controversy, since religious institutions have protested in the past about how the celebrations were held. The Carnival in Nadur is simply however, the result of a group of people meeting and congregating, not organised by any specific committee.

Thyes, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Carnival in Malta is also synonymous with a particular type of cake that most enjoy. Going for a stroll in Valletta or visiting most confectionaries, you can purchase the traditional ‘Prinjolata’. This is quite a distinguishing treat, including sponge cake, almonds, eggs, coated with meringue and finished off with chocolate and cherries. They would typically be quite big and are sold according to weight.

Prinjolata, Photography Ian Noel Pace

With Carnival being cancelled for the very first time since World War Two, due to the pandemic, we will be holding onto our costumes for the coming year.

Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day

Friday 15 Jan 2021

During the month of February, we celebrate Valentine’s Day, where we commemorate romantic love, friendship and admiration. Every fourteenth of February, people celebrate this special occasion by sending messages of affection to partners, friends and family. It is also customary, that cards and flowers are sent to express appreciation and love.

The history of Valentine’s Day

This day is named after Saint Valentine. He was a catholic priest that lived in Rome, in the third century. This Saint has several stories to his account, which contributed to him becoming the legend that he is today. 

During the lifetime of Saint Valentine, it was a delicate time for Christians. The Emperor at the time, was of a pagan background and had set up strict laws for Christians. It was deemed that Roman soldiers should not be allowed to marry, as they had to ensure their devotion to Rome. Saint Valentine would marry such soldiers in secret Christian ceremonies and it was here where he started to establish a reputation in relation to the importance he gave to love.

His activities were not to last forever as he was caught and imprisoned for not complying with the laws set out by Emperor Claudius. His good nature extended to his prison years as he catered for fellow prisoners and his jailor’s blind daughter. According to legend, Saint Valentine had cured this girl from blindness. It is said that his final act before being executed was to write to her a love message, signed “from your Valentine.”  He was killed on the 14th of February in the year 270.

Following more than two hundred years, the 14th of February was announced as St Valentine’s Day. During this period, Rome had adopted a Christian religion, with the Catholic Church determined to squash out the remains of paganism. 

In contemporary times, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by couples, with dinners, romantic getaways and gifts. For this year’s Valentine’s Day, here at The Plaza we have a wide range of gift options for your special someone. Come give us a visit and see for yourself.

January Sales at The Plaza

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January Sales at The Plaza

Saturday 02 Jan 2021

The month of January is synonymous with shopping sales. This January, outlets at The Plaza are giving out fantastic sales so that you can start the year on the right foot, benefiting from quality products at great prices. So what are the products you can benefit from during The Plaza January sales?

Men and women’s clothes

Visiting The Plaza means having the opportunity to browse through countless clothing shops, boasting different styles to satisfy the various tastes. Whether you are looking for formalwear, casual clothing or a different style, you are guaranteed a luxury of choice at The Plaza, and with the fantastic sales currently available, it is definitely the place to visit. It is also a good idea to pay a visit, especially as we progress through the winter, and you may need to upgrade your wardrobe.


Shoes and footwear

Talking about starting the year on the right foot, you may need a new pair of shoes! Come have a look at the different collections available.


Beauty and perfumery

The Plaza holds a number of retail shops aimed at making you look and feel better. Benefit this January as you stroll through the different shops, browsing various products of high quality and at excellent prices.



The Plaza also allows you ample choices for devices. If you are considering a new phone, tablet or laptop to reward yourself and start the year in better fashion, you should pay a visit to Intercomp. You may encounter that phone or any other device that you would be looking for at a good price, starting off the year with a blast.


Kids’ clothes

The Plaza also offers an ample selection for kids’ clothes and shoes. Visiting The Plaza in January may allow you to benefit from fantastic sales for your little ones. Starting the year with a smile on their faces will definitely bring great satisfaction to you as a parent.


Food that makes you spoilt for choice

You may not be an avid shopping fan. In that case, you can also treat yourself to the various meals available at the food court. With the choice of different international cuisines available, you are sure to enjoy yourself, whilst the rest of the family shops.

Whilst we wish you the best for the start of the new year, we do look forward to greeting you here at The Plaza.

The Tiffen Box

Looking Back at 2020 and Looking forward to a Brighter 2021

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Looking Back at 2020 and Looking forward to a Brighter 2021

Saturday 02 Jan 2021

Many are glad to see the chapter of 2020 coming to a close, as we herald in the new year, where most are hoping that it will be a significantly better one than the previous. During this time last year, very few would have thought that the following months will be characterised by several hardships, including an uncontrollable pandemic, global lockdowns, over a million deaths and many people infected.

As we start off 2021, there is most definitely a greater sense of optimism as the world may be turning the tide. As multiple vaccines are dubbed to become available, and with programmes to get people inoculated fast, we may indeed be in a position to speak about the pandemic as a thing of the past during the course of 2021. In this article, we shall discuss some of the things we so desperately miss, and look forward to during the course of this year.

Tourism and travel

The world is definitely not the same without easy access to travel. The joy brought about by visiting a country and temporarily getting away from it all, compares to nothing. Due to airport restrictions and a general sense of fear, people are not travelling as they used to. A country such as Malta feels empty without tourists and we look forward to be able to greet them again, sooner rather than later as the situation stabilises.


Due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, many people steered away from physical shopping, to avoid crowds, transitioning to online transactions. As the situation improves, it is expected that people will once again engage in physical shopping, as it is a totally different experience to buying through a computer or device.

Events and entertainment

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a major shift to the events and entertainment industry. Considering that the virus is so easily spreadable, there are several restrictions for events, which are capped at low amounts of attendees, without much opportunity for mingling as people are asked to remain at their seats. In a nutshell, stand-up events will have to wait. The same applies for restaurants, which also have to face restrictions, with each table being kept at a two-metre distance from the other. Bars and other outlets that serve drinks which go hand in hand with nightlife remain closed for the time being.

Once the situation improves, many would get the opportunity to indulge in several events and enjoy some well-deserved entertainment.