feast of st joseph malta

St Joseph en route in Malta. They carried this along a route almost a mile!


The streets are nicely decorated in Malta for the St. Joseph day parade

The streets are nicely decorated and people walk along the route with the parade.


priests dressed up and carrying staff on street in Malta for St. Joseph day

Who was St. Joseph?

St. Joseph ??? Nope, don’t know much about him either, so I’m not even going to pretend that l do. You can get a bit more information here. From what l understand, he was the husband of Mary, therefore the father of Jesus in my book, at least in the real world.

St Joseph’s Day:

He is celebrated all over the island of Malta at different times. The actual commemorative date is March 19, but there is only one village called Rabat, that celebrates it then. The rest of the country just picks arbitrary days to celebrate. Most of the time, it will be in summer. It seems there is a feast of some kind every single weekend in the summer. I never knew so many saints existed before moving here.

Fun fact, Malta has the highest number of public holidays in Europe. I think this year though, they cut about 4 of them to be more in line with the rest of the E.U.  Our town, Msida, had their festa (feast) this past weekend. It actually started Thursday, and ended on Sunday. The preparation started over a month ago, with the lights, and stands going up.

feast of st joseph parish

The local Parish

church in Msida Malta side view with flags and decorations

Very festive atmosphere. Living practically next door to the church, we were able to observe all the work behind the celebration.

Joseph Malta: A Saint for all

St Joseph statue on pedestal of gilded gold and he has on flowing robes cream and staff

St Joseph in flowing robe and carrying his staff. He looks like a very modest man, something to be expected.


St Joseph on the pedestal made of green and gold material with lion's head

You can just imagine how heavy this is. I think people think of it as penance when carrying it.


Shepard and boy on pedestal.. Jesus maybe?

I assume this is a Shepard and maybe the boy is Jesus? I am not so up to date with my bible knowledge.

We live right on the main street, and the church is just a few doors down. We got to observe everything from the comfort of our terrace. What a beautiful sight with all the tiny lights twinkling against the backdrop of the marina and it’s vast array of boats. There was a concert given on Friday by a local band. It was impossible to sleep early as fireworks went off till late in the night.

Malta is known for it’s blind devotion to fireworks. There have actually been a lot of lives lost due to exploding firework factories. In the summer, they go off almost nightly, and get this, during the mornings as well. I find it incredulous as you can’t see anything during the day.. yet, they still do it. I consider it a waste of money, but apparently, it is tradition.

feast if st joseph rockets

These little rockets are so so loud!

Malta Fireworks: St Joseph’s Feast Celebration

Green fireworks going off over the Msida marina in Malta

Fireworks on the night of the feast of St. Joseph. Nice to have a bird eye view.


red fireworks being set off at Msida marina Malta

I can imagine the view would have been even better from one of those boats.

Feast of St. Joseph Malta:

At least three to four days prior to the holiday, the bands practiced on the streets and it was fun to watch from our terrace.

 practising band on main road in Msida Malta

Last day of practice..loved how the umbrellas rolled along with them as it was hot!

people enjoying the music from marching band at night in malta

People came out at night to enjoy the music from the marching bands and eat at the pop up food trucks. Very enjoyable day.


marching band at night with hawkers on street Malta

In addition to the food trucks, there were lots of people selling artisan products and souvenir items.



traffic hold up at the Msida Marina on feast of st joseph day

Yeah, it affected traffic, but it was to be expected as that is the really the only main road in the city.


American in name only! More Turkish than anything Food truck on feast of st joseph day

American in name only! More Turkish than anything :-)

Street was closed off at night and became the patios of the restaurants

Street was closed off at night and became the patios of the restaurants

Moving to Malta? Make sure to get your copy of our guide to help you settle in Malta fast. Banks?, Utilities? School? Find all the information needed.

My poor dogs spend the weekends cowering under the bed, or squeezed in with my husband on his chair as they get frightened. Many a neighbor searches for their cats etc in the morning as they take off when the booms come fast and furious. The only annoying part for me was that the marching band practiced for days leading up to the actual feast day (Sunday) and l felt like l was going to blow a fuse if l heard one more trumpet :-) .

All told, it was a pretty enjoyable feast, and the smell of the grilled meat wafting up to us had my beagles on tippy toes trying to figure out the source. This made walking them in the mornings adventures of a different kind. They couldn’t wait to go for the scraps left behind, before the street cleaning.

And off they went on the route.. I didn't follow.

And off they went on the procession route. I didn’t follow since l had seen everything from the beginning.


What about you? Is there a patron saint festival where you are? Have you ever been? would it be something you might like?