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Carnival-front.jpgGozo Carnival 2006 - Carnival 2006

Carnival is a lovely and happy festival held in Febuary. The main events of Carnival have always taken place on the three days before the forty days of Lent, a time for fasting and prayer. The name Carnival comes from the Latin carne levarium, which means farewell to meat.

Although Carnival is a Christian festival, it developed originally from winter festivals celebrated long before Christianity began. Carnival events in the Maltese islands are believed to go back to prior 1530.

This year’s carnival activities were was spread over 12 days. During these days everyone comes alive, people take time off and schools close down to enable children to enjoy the merry-making.

The climax of these activities took place on Sunday Feb 26th. In Victoria a spectacular programme was held along Republic Street, Main Square it-Tokk and Sabina Square. Streets were full of people dressed up in fancy costumes and covered with make-up. Night and day the atmosphere was full of sound and music. Drums, horns and brass bands create an exciting rhythm. These play along Republic Street to the Main Square where the defilè took place. Street stalls where selling all kinds of food and sweets, doughnuts, popcorn and sugared almonds, not forgetting candyfloss, which are popular Carnival treats.

Great effort goes into preparing beautiful, huge decorated floats with dancers and singers who took part in the defilè and in the dancing competition.

King Carnival heads a trail of floats on a huge one well decorated and brightly painted. Grotesque masks, figures with enormous heads made of paper-mache, hilarious sketches and costume competitions parade and dance through Republic Street, and in the Main Square. From young and old, Gozitans enthusiastically embrace Carnival. Whether as part of a school programme or a dance production. Competitions for the best costumes, dance and floats were organised. The winners were given money as prices.

At Nadur besides a competitive items, there is the traditional Kukkanja, a well greased pole with prices hanging from a cartwheel on top where competitors try to climb to get prices such as sausages, cheese, salami and similar items. Nadur is also known for the spontaneous late night Carnival celebrations along 13th December Street. Part of the fun of this Carnival is to become someone different, if only for a day or two. Many take the opportunity to put on masks so that they will not be recognised. These have the chance to be free and say and do things they would not normally do.

At Xaghra besides the competitive items there was also held il-Komittiva a Gozitan Carnival Dance that dates back to 1890. In this dance about 24 youngsters took part. They all dance around a pole, while the national popular music known as il-Maltija plays on.

This year Carnival came to an end on Tuesday Feb 28th. with the King Carnival leading a grand defile along the main streets of Victoria

For Carnival pictures: Please Click Here

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Creation date : 12/04/2006 @ 14:00
Last update : 12/04/2006 @ 14:00
Category : Gozo Carnival 2006
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