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Isle Of MTV Malta 2013

The Malta music week 2013 is only a couple of weeks ahead. This week includes the Isle of MTV concert held on the 26th of June. Confirmed artists performing this year are Rita Ora, Rudimental and Jessie J. The Isle of MTV is a free event that will be held at Il Fossos Square in Valetta.

Join the 7th edition of the Isle of MTV with us!

Malta placed 8th in the Final of Eurovision Song Contest!

Malta participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö, Sweden. The song ‘Tomorrow’ sung by Gianluca Bezzina finished in 8th place in the final, scoring 120 points.

Malta in Final of Eurovision Song Contest!

The last ten acts going through to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest Final have been selected. Maltese singer Gianluca Bezzina made it to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. He will be performing his song ‘Tomorrow’ next to the other finalists on Saturday 18 May in Malmö.

Events In Malta

festaWhatever your particular area of interest may be, you are sure to find events in Malta which will appeal to you. Choose from performances by international contemporary music artists, classical music concerts, jazz festivals and many others.
Malta’s vibrant performing arts scene also offers a diverse repertoire of theatre, opera, and dance. Moreover, the Maltese islands play host to an exciting array of international sporting events. If you are looking for an authentic Maltese experience, then you have to take a look at the traditional events, such as the village festas, Carnival and Holy Week celebrations. It’s a great way to experience Malta in a different/authentic way when learning English with am Language Studio.

A lot of events that take place in Malta and Gozo are annual occurrences. The village feasts, for example, take place every year, in more or less the same weekend. The same applies to many cultural festivals such as the Fireworks Festival, the Arts Festival, the Jazz Festival and international sport events such as the Malta Marathon and The Middle Sea Race. However, some other events are recurring, but held periodically, several times a year. These include the historical shows ‘In Guardia’ and ‘Alarme!’ and the Changing of the Guard ceremony in front of the Grandmasters Palace in Valletta.

Village FeastsSome holy days, such as the feast of Santa Marija, are actually national holidays. Others, like the harvest festival of Mnarja at the end of June, are steeped in folklore. However, the most important events to all villages are their individual festas, in which they honour their parish patron saint.

In Malta are religious holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, highly celebrated, with the traditional festivities that go along with them. Churches play a large role during this time of year and during the Holy Week of Easter, many people go to the churches for the ‘seven visits’, the visit of seven churches, to pay homage to the Altars of Repose.

Try some Maltese food while in Malta, learning English with am Language Studio.The festive commemorations are also a time of food, drinks and joy which brings out the Mediterranean roots of the locals. Families will prepare large Christmas and Easter lunches to show that they’re thankful for all that they have with their relatives. During these festas the streets are lined with carts, selling a wide assortment of different foods with a lot of traditional sweets and delicacies.

Introduced relatively recent, cultural events such as the Malta Fireworks Festival, Notte Bianca and Mediterranea in Gozo are becoming real traditions in Malta. All these events are great ways to unwind when you’re learning English in Malta with am Language Studio.

Facts about Malta!

Is the tap water in Malta safe to drink? Is driving in Malta on the left or on the right side? Answers on questions like these can be found here.
If you still can’t find the answer to your questions, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

Electricity:
The electrical supply is 230 volts /- 10%.
The frequency of the supply is 50 hertz.
The three-pin rectangular plug system is used, as in Britain. Adapters are easy to find and can be bought for just a couple of euros.

Water:
The tap water is safe to drink throughout the Maltese Islands, only it may taste a little different than normal water. You can also buy bottles of mineral water in shops, supermarkets, restaurants and bars.

Driving:
In Malta and Gozo, driving is on the left side.
There are speed limits of 80 km/h on the open road and 50 km/h in built-up areas, unless otherwise indicated on relevant road signs.
National or international driving licenses are accepted.

Language:
Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English.
Maltese is the national language of Malta. It is a Semitic language derived from Arabic; however a majority of vocabulary comes from Sicilian and Italian. 52% of Maltese words are of Romance origin, a result of significant influence from Italy and, to a lesser extent, France. Malta holds the distinction of being the only country in Europe with a historically Semitic language. The Maltese language is written with a modified Latin Alphabet which includes the letters ż, ċ, ġ, ħ, and għ.
The second official language of Malta is English. Before independence in 1964, Malta was a British possession, and a result of this is that English is still an official language. Most Maltese learn English in school, this being obligatory in most cases. Secondary and tertiary education are given exclusively in English.
Italian is also widely spoken in Malta.

Public Holidays:

The Maltese Islands have 14 annual Public Holidays. The dates of the holidays are the following:
1st January – New Year’s Day
10th February – Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck
19th March – Feast of St. Joseph
31st March – Freedom Day
March/April (date changes) – Good Friday
1st May – Labour Day
7th June – Sette Giugno
29th June – Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul (L-Imnarja)
15th August – Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady (Santa Marija)
8th September – Feast of Our Lady of Victories
21st September – Independence Day
8th December – Feast of the Immaculate Conception
13th December – Republic Day
25th December – Christmas Day

 

Horse Drawn Carriage

The History of Wine in Malta

Try some local wine while in Malta, learning English with am Language StudioIn ancient times, the grapevine was grown for the production of wine in almost all the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and on many of its islands, including Malta. Historically, the Mediterranean was at the centre of the art of grape growing, and the majority of the then most famous wines of the world were produced under the Mediterranean’s ideal climate conditions. Ever since, the Phoenicians, Romans, Knights of the Order of St John, and the Maltese people have continued to grow vines and produce wine for well over 4000 years.

The Maltese archipelago which consists of three islands, Malta, Gozo and Comino is situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, 93 kilometres south of Sicily and 290 kilometres from North Africa. The longest distance in Malta is 227 kilometres, and the total area of the islands is 316 square kilometres. Malta has neither mountains, lakes, rivers or forests, however a series of low hills with terraced fields on slopes characterise the islands.

Wine and dine in Malta with am Language Studio

The climate is generally hot and there are no biting winds, fog, snow or frost, and rain falls only for short periods. The hottest period is from mid-July to mid-September, but hot summer days and nights are tempered by cool breezes from the surrounding sea.

There are five major wine producers on the Maltese island: Marsovin, Emmanuel Delicata, Camilleri Wines, Montekristo and Meridiana, all of whom offer some form of wine tasting or cellar tour. Delicata and Marsovin were established in 1907 and 1919 respectively and both are based near Paola. The other three wineries were planted in the 2000s when Maltese viticulture experienced a growth in quality production.

Wine and dine in Malta with am Language Studio

In Gozo, Malta’s sister island one finds two other wineries. These are Ta’ Mena Winery which produces a range of I.G.T and D.O.K wines and Tal-Massar Winery.

Carnival in Malta and Gozo.

Carnival in Malta and Gozo

CARNIVAL PARADE

 

Carnival is celebrated outdoors in the five days preceding Lent in a number of towns and villages around the Maltese Islands, mainly in Valletta, Floriana and Ghaxaq in Malta and Nadur in Gozo. The Valletta Carnival offers a colourful spectacle, and prizes are awarded for the best artistic dances, costumes, floats and grotesque masks.

Decorated Triumphal floats and grotesque masks follow in a regular train through the main streets of Valletta, eventually ending in Floriana. The large, colourful Triumphal Floats are manned by groups of enthusiastic young participants in costume, who sing, blow whistles, sound horns and throw coloured paper confetti to the bystanders. There are 3 categories of floats, depending on their size and complexity.

 

The grotesque masks, or Maskeruni, are veritable ‘walking creations’ of artistic fantasy, and are very much a part of the traditional Maltese Carnival, consisting of individuals donning large colourful papier-mâché structures, made using traditional carnival-art techniques

 

MUSIC & DANCE

The Carnival Dance Competitions held between the various Dance Companies are one of the main Carnival attractions and will take place in the reserved performance area next to the Triton’s Fountain, just outside Valletta’s main gate.

 

The dancers wear extravagant colourful costumes specially designed to complement the theme of their dance performances, choreographed to popular tunes.

 

Children feature prominently during the Children’s Dance Programme held on the morning of 5th March near the Triton’s Fountain. Hundreds of school children look forward to this and spend many weeks in preparation for what is probably their first public performance, also transmitted live on national TV.

 

Carnival

Carnival 2

The Top 10 Things to Taste in Malta!

Unashamed in its rich gluttony, Maltese gastronomy is undeniably sumptuous. Doughy, delectable and often slow-baked, here hearty meals such as pizza, pasta and sweet pastries prevail.

Given Malta’s geographic position, however, this is hardly surprising. Bobbing in the middle of the Mediterranean, and prominently placed beside Tunisia and southern Sicily, these North African inflections and strong Italian leanings are, quite frankly, inevitable.

Combine this with Malta’s turbulent history of battles and sieges, where foreign rule became almost the norm, and Arabic, British and Middle Eastern flavours can also be thrown into the melting pot.

Delving mouth-first into this deliciously unique cuisine, here are just ten of Malta’s tastiest dishes, drinks and snacks, all of which can be found in those delectable restaurants in Malta.

 

1. Maltese Pizza

Welcoming this iconic Italian dish, pizza is a source of particular pride for the Maltese; all around the island ‘Pizza, Pasta, Grills’ have popped up to promote this oil-drizzled dish. Commonly cooked to crisp perfection in a stone baked oven, Maltese pizza is exceptionally delicious thanks to its thin, crusty base. Sprinkled on top with hearty meat or fresh Mediterranean vegetables, one slice simply isn’t enough!

Traditional Pizza

2. Mqaret

Sweet and tasty, these deep-fried pastries are truly divine (so long as you don’t count all their calories!) Stuffed with dates and served as a warm dessert, often accompanied with ice cream, these fragrant and softly spiced treats are worth ditching the diet for.

Traditional Pizza

3. Fenek

Often typified as the national dish, stewed rabbit has become synonymous with Malta’s cultural identity. Almost as important as the soft and succulent meat, however, is the act of going for the meal itself. Known traditionally as a ‘fenkata’, this festive feast is not only an excuse to gather all the friends and family but has become a seasonal occasion for most Maltese.

Traditional Rabbit

 

4. Kinnie

Best described as one of Malta’s most distinct fizzy drinks, Kinnie is formed from an aromatic blend of bitter oranges, sweet spices and pungent herbs. While sounding like something a child might cook-up in their mother’s kitchen, Kinnie’s curious composites mysteriously align to form a devilishly tasty dark-amber nectar.

Kinnie

 

5. Twistees

Famously found in lunch boxes around the island (adults included!), this popular snack helps to keep the wolves at bay between meals. Found in cheesy, chicken and bacon flavours, Twistees are the local version of naughty-but-nice nibbles.

Twisties

 

6. Hobz Biz- Zejt

The literal translation, being bread with oil, just doesn’t do this dish justice. A better description would be ‘ a rustic Mediterranean loaf’. For this specialty, fresh crusty bread is fervently lavished with olive oil and stuffed with a combination of ingredients that include capers, olives, garlic, tuna, anchovies and sweet tomato paste. However, Gbejna –peppery cubes of succulent goat’s cheese, in my opinion, really takes the Hobz-Biz biscuit as the best addition to this delicious bread!

Zejt

7. Timpana

Amalgamating two beloved dishes, Timpana gives you the ultimate pasta-pie. Made from macaroni pasta and bolognese meat, this traditional platter is baked in a puff pastry layer until lightly golden brown.  A word of warning, however, this dish is best served with a subsequent nap.

Timpana

8. Cisk

A premium lager, Cisk is one of Malta’s most significant exports. Locally brewed with a light and refreshing taste, Cisk can be enjoyed without fear of any beer-belly retribution. Unless, that is, you decide to down ten in row; then are making no such promise

Cisk Lager

 

9. Bajtra Liqueur

Formed from the flesh of the local prickly pear fruit (Bajtra), and shimmering in a translucent red, this luminous liqueur looks deceptively close to a cough mixture medicine. However, far from a revolting remedy, this sweetened solution slips down very easily as an after dinner treat. Some might even call it salubrious for the soul, (I said might…)!

Bajtra Liquer

10. Pastizzi

With its very own Facebook page (complete with over 36,000 likes) Pastizzi can be easily deemed the nation’s favourite. Cut into diamond shaped pastries, these local delicacies are lovingly oven baked with a warm ricotta or a spicy pea filling. Transforming into an indulgent treat or tasty snack, Pastizzi perfectly epitomizes the sumptuous Maltese palette.

Pastizzi

In Guardia Parade

Date: Sunday 25th November 2012

The IN GUARDIA PARADE is a historical re-enactment that portrays an authentic historical event that took place regularly inside Fort St. Elmo (currently moved to Birgu). This re-enactment portrays the inspection of the fort and its garrison by the Grand Bailiff of the Order of the Knights of St. John in charge of military affairs. During the re-enactment the fort’s garrison – some 70 re-enactors strong – is dressed in its best uniforms and demonstrates to the Grand Bailiff its military prowess

For more information contact our Leisure office!

In Guardia Parade

Armin Van Buuren Party

Armin Van Buuren has just confirmed that he will be visiting Malta to perform on the 12th December (Eve of a public Holiday) at the MFCC Arena , just a couple of weeks after being awarded, for a record breaking 5th time, the prestigious award as the World’s No 1 DJ at the DJ MAG Top 100 DJs Poll.

Armin Van Buuren