Malta celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1 January, as does most of the rest of the world. However, the celebrations really begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.
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New Year’s Eve is a major annual event in Malta, with events continuing into New Year’s Day. While Christmas is more of a homey holiday here, New Year has a more public profile, with fireworks events and street parties dominating.
The biggest street parties take place in Valletta and in nearby Floriana. Admission to many parties is free, and there is a countdown to midnight followed by a fireworks display at party’s end. In Valletta, people gather in Saint George’s Square, while in Floriana, Saint Anne’s Street is the best place to see the pyrotechnics.
Families normally share a festive lunch together at home for New Year’s Eve, with coffee and sweets for dessert. Many nowadays, however, eat out. And there is no shortage of restaurants that cater to a special new year’s menu. On New Year’s Day itself, many will sleep in and then later go for a walk in the countryside if weather permits.