Christmas in Gozo: Festive Season on the Island of Joy.

Gozo is a special place to celebrate the beauty and wonder of Christmas. Like all religious festivals in the Maltese islands, Christmas celebrations engage many senses. The Christmas story is related through elaborate cribs, festive lights, live re-enactments of the Nativity scene, hearty meals, mulled wine and the warm atmosphere of Christmas markets, traditional songs played in village squares, church concerts and midnight masses. Locals love to celebrate Christmas and you can feel the festive atmosphere all around the island.

Christmas in Gozo (2019)
Christmas decorations in Villa rundle, Gozo (2019)

Not just the streets, but many private homes are decorated with lights, cribs and displays of baby Jesus and angels. Most villages will have exhibitions of cribs and nativity scenes throughout the month of December.

The remarkable life-size animated crib in Nadur and the nativity village in Ghajnsielem are not to be missed.  Local participants in period costumes and animals take part in these crib exhibitions that re-create various Bethlehem scenes.

During the festive season, several carol services and Christmas concerts will take place in lavishly decorated churches all over the island.

On Christmas Eve, many villages will have local processions with Baby Jesus, followed by pageants, carols, concerts, and a Midnight Mass with the traditional child sermon, where a young child addresses the congregation. The child sermon, a retelling of the Nativity story, is given by a boy or a girl between the ages of 7 and 10. This is considered to be a great honour and is usually prepared for months in advance.

christmas-villa-rundle

Christmas Day is usually quiet as it is considered family time and all the families reunite together for a Christmas lunch. It is a sumptuous meal, often with enough food to feed the whole family for a week. Traditional Christmas foods include mince pies and Christmas pudding – both a British influence, baked pork or chicken, a chestnut and chocolate drink, and “honey rings” – pastry filled with a blend of marmalade, sugar, lemon, oranges, mixed spice, cinnamon, vanilla and syrup.

Various indoor parties, events and outdoor celebrations are held on New Year’s Eve. In Victoria, a New Year’s Eve outdoor party will take place with live music and fireworks at midnight.

Several hotels and restaurants on Gozo will also be offering Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day lunch, as well as New Year’s Eve gala dinner.

Below are some of the major events and attractions taking place on Gozo during the festive season. For a full list of events and activities, go to Christmas in Gozo 2019

christmas-villa-rundle
Christmas decorations at Villa Rundle

CHRISTMAS MARKETS

Villa Rundle, Victoria

Date: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in December 

Time: 16:00 to 20:00 on Fridays, 10:00 to 18:00 on Saturdays and Sundays 

Victory Square, Xaghra

Date: Sun, 8th December

Time: 08:00 to 14:00 

St John the Baptist Square, Xewkija

Date: Friday & Saturday, 13th and 14th December

Time: 18:00

CHRISTMAS CONCERTS AND CAROL SERVICES

Christmas Concert

Date: Sunday 15th December

Time: 20:00

Location: St George’s Basilica, Victoria

Anglican Service of Lessons and Carols

Date: Wednesday 25th December

Time: 08:45

Location: Gozo Seminary Chapel, Victoria

Carols in the Cathedral Concert

Date: Friday 27th December

Time: 19:00

Location: Gozo Cathedral, the Citadel, Victoria

BETHLEHEM F’GHAJNSIELEM

bethlehem-in-gozo

Open-air nativity village

Date: Friday 13th December 2019 till Sunday 5th January 2020

Time: animated on Friday and weekend afternoons, and Wednesday mornings

Location: Ghajnsielem

Event Details: www.ghajnsielem.com/bethlehem

Date: Tuesday, 24th December

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS PROCESSIONS

Time: 18:00 onwards

Locations: Xewkija, Qala, Victoria, Nadur

CHRISTMAS DAY CONCERT

Date: Wednesday, 25th December

Time: 01.00 AM to 02.30 AM

Location: St. George’s Square, Victoria

Events Details: The concert is performed right after the midnight mass in St George’s Basilica.

NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATIONS

Date: Tuesday, 31st December 2019 

Time: 21:30 to 02:00 AM

Location: Independence Square and St. George’s Square