How to spend Easter Sunday in Malta and Gozo... the local way.
It's been a sombre mood for Holy Week in the run-up to Easter and finally, everyone can let their hair down.
Join in the religious celebrations
While Easter processions take place all over the islands, a good one to visit is that of Birgu (Vittoriosa). Head to Birgu by mid-morning to catch the pompous religious festivities of Easter Sunday. Thousands of people take to the streets to celebrate and be merry. Devotees carry the Risen Christ through the streets as a band playing festive tunes makes way. At the end of the procession, the way is cleared and the statue-bearers make a run back to the church in triumph.
Enjoy a sumptuous Easter Sunday lunch
Easter day is traditionally celebrated with a special family lunch. Although many prepare a traditional meal of roast lamb and do this at home, restaurants are also full to the brim. In any case, indulgence is due, after 40 days of fasting (for some!)
Easter Sunday is also a time to visit relatives and friends and it is customary to exchange small gifts and good wishes. Typical gifts include a variety of traditional Easter sweets and fruit. Many local families also go to the extent of more extragavent gift giving not unlike that in the Christmas tradition - why do it once if you can do it twice?
Indulge in Easter sweets
It's not just the children who are ecstatic to dig into traditional Maltese Easter goodies! Chocolate bunnies, kwarezimal and especially figolli are the treat du jour. Most traditional sweets have a delicious almond base while a good dose of chocolate is a must. If there's one Easter-related thing you're planning to do in Malta, do this!
Head to the countryside
It's spring in Malta and, although it may not always the case, the weather on Easter Sunday tends towards sunshine. With bellies full after a feast and hearts full of familial warmth, a walk in the countryside is just the thing to do. You never know... you might even meet a good shepherd on the way!