Society & everyday life in Malta
88.6 percent of the Maltese population are Roman Catholic, so the vast majority is Christian. The Christian influence cannot be overlooked on the island: there are more than 365 churches in the small republic. The Catholic parishes belong to the dioceses of Malta and Gozo. The remaining percent is mainly composed of Protestants (including Baptists), Orthodox Christians, Jews and Muslims.
The President of the Republic of Malta has been Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, who belongs to the social democratic party “Partit Laburista”, since April 2014. The House of Representatives of the Republic consists of at least 65 members. The Maltese government is elected for a five-year term. In May 2004 the island state joined the European Union, of which it has been the smallest member state since then. According to COUNTRYAAH.COM, Malta is a member state of Europe Union.
National language and communication
The use of languages also reflects Malta’s exciting history.
The first official language of the island state is Maltese. Maltese is one of the Semitic languages and developed from medieval Arabic. Although the Maltese language is of Arabic origin, it has also been influenced by the Italian, French and English languages over time. The second official languages are English and Italian. However, the use of Italian is declining. Until 1934 it was considered the court language of Malta and the preferred educational and written language. Mastered English due to the British colonization in the 19th and 20th centuries Century almost all Maltese.
The easiest and most comfortable way to travel in Malta is by bus. There are connections to all parts of the island. The buses are quite old, but extremely inexpensive. For example, there are two bus stops near the Sprachcaffe school in St. Julians. You will find an information desk for bus connections at the bus station in front of the City Gate in Valletta or in Saint Pauls Bay at the Terminus. Ferries run regularly between Malta and the secondary island of Gozo. You can translate from the main island of Malta to Gozo for around four euros.
There are different types of taxis in Malta: red, white and black. The white taxis will take you off the road if you stand on the side of the road and attract attention. You have to order the black ones in advance. The red taxis are vans for eight people and usually run at night.
Ferries run regularly between Malta and the secondary island of Gozo. You can translate from the main island of Malta to Gozo for around four euros. In addition to the two large ferries, captains of smaller boats also offer their services.
Culture & History of Malta
There is hardly any other country that has seen so many different cultures come and go as Malta. The first humans reached the island around 5200 BC. Chr . and since then almost all the powers of the Mediterranean area have laid claim to the island, countless power struggles took place there, until Malta was the base of the Allies in the Second World War and was thus the target of Italy and Germany.
The Maltese culture was shaped very early by the Mediterranean empires such as the Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs, to which the archipelago belonged in antiquity and the Middle Ages . As far as religion, superstition and customs are concerned, the residents were strongly influenced by the Roman Catholic southern Italy, and linguistically more by the Arabs. In 1530 there was an independent government in Malta for the first time, under the rule of the sovereign Order of Malta. From 1814, however, Malta became a British colony.
The time under the British had a very strong impact on the island, so that English is still the official language today and you can also find the typical British red telephone booths on Malta, for example. The Maltese flag was also influenced by the British: During the Second World War, Malta acted as the British “unsinkable aircraft carrier”. For their commitment and support, the British King awarded the people of Malta the Cross of St. George in 1942, which is still depicted on the Maltese national flag Malta finally gained independence on September 21, 1964.
Party & clubbing
Although the Maltese islands are known for their sunny skies, azure waters, and dramatic history, Malta has some really great nightlife to enjoy too. Malta is known for its nightlife and party scene, and with a huge variety of nightclubs, bars, restaurants and wine bars, you are never far from a good time. There is also a lively arts and music scene with many festivals that can be visited during the summer season, but also during the quieter winter months.
Where can I find the best nightlife in Malta?
Here are the main nightlife areas in these areas:
- Paceville (St. Julian’s)– the center of nightlife not far from the Sprachcaffe campus
- Buġibba, Qawra and Paul’s Bay– a bit quieter mainly bars / pubs and a few clubs
- Outskirts of Rabat– Gianpula Complex and Numero Uno (popular open-air clubs during the summer months)
- Valletta and Sliema– mostly bars / pubs and wine bars
- Birgu and Mdina– wine bars
Carnival : (February) The Carnival in Malta is something very special. It has over 450 years of tradition and is one of the largest festivals in Malta. Carnival week traditionally takes place on the island in the last week of February.
International Fireworks Festival : (April – May) As the name suggests, there are plenty of fireworks here. There is, among other things, a competition between local and international pyrotechnicians that is not to be missed.
Malta Jazz Festival : (July) Here world-famous (jazz) artists have met in a unique setting for over 25 years, always on the third weekend in July. An absolute must for every jazz lover!
International Arts Festival : (July-August) Local and national artist festival that takes place in summer. Due to the date in summer, most of the performances take place outside.
Since the majority of the population is Catholic, the Christian holidays (New Year, Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost, Labor Day, Christmas etc.) are celebrated in Malta. However, a few individual national holidays are also celebrated. We have listed them for you below:
On February 10, the shipwreck of St. Paul ( In-Nawfraġju ta ‘San Pawl ) will be celebrated in Malta. Legend has it that the apostle Paul was shipwrecked off Malta during his trip to Rome and wintered on the island. This is how Christianity came to Malta. This day is still celebrated in Malta today.
The Day of Freedom ( Jum il-Ħelsien ) is celebrated on March 31st .
On June 7th, the national holiday of Malta ( Sette Giugno ) is celebrated.
Victory Day ( Il-Vittorja ) is celebrated on September 8th .
Malta’s independence from the British will be celebrated on September 21 ( L-Indipendenza ).
On December 13 the Day of the Republic (will Jum ir-Repubblika ) celebrated.
Maltese cuisine was shaped by many cultures and today combines Italian, Turkish and North African influences in its delicious dishes. The traditional ingredients of Maltese cuisine are mainly fish, capers and vegetables. “Ġbejna”, a small cheese made from goat’s milk, is also very often served. The golden mackerel (“lampuki”) is the national fish of Malta and also a delicacy. Rabbit is a specialty on the island and is served almost everywhere.
You should definitely try the Maltese national drink “Kinnie”. The lemonade has a slightly bitter taste, but is still very popular. A beer brand known in Malta is Cisk, which brew beer based on the English model.
Interesting facts about Malta
As in any major city, in the major cities like Valletta and Sliema, watch out for your bags and beware of pickpockets.
Don’t forget your sunscreen, even in September! The sun is still shining there in Malta and can cause you sunburn. You should also protect yourself from mosquitoes.
Tips + tricks
Quality of life is very important in Malta. That is why it is still widespread to close shops at lunchtime so that you can have a siesta. A little tip from your Malta travel guide: In tourist areas, many shops are open all day.
Also good to know: The Maltese like to celebrate and often. The island’s population is 98% Catholic, which is also reflected in the festivals. All traditional festivals are dedicated to saints who are honored with processions and music. The mood is exuberant, sociability plays a central role: The Maltesters also like to go to restaurants or bars with friends and relatives. They are very open-minded, so it is easy to make new contacts.
The heart of Malta beats in Saint Julians. Here you go out, enjoy the evening and meet people from all over the world. Not far from our campus is the Paceville district. Here restaurants and bars are lined up close together. Whether a glass of wine or a bucket of caipirinha – there is something for everyone.