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2018 marks a significant year for Malta as the capital Valletta becomes the European Capital of Culture. Following the impressive opening ceremony in January, that attracted over 110,000 in attendance, it’s safe to say that Valletta has fully embraced its role as the Capital of Culture for 2018.

Over the next nine months, Valletta will be showcasing the best of Maltese culture and artistic diversity. Needless to say, there will be countless events running both in the city. So, what are the highlights for the coming year? Read on and find out.

Valletta Green Festival

Taking place from the 4th to 6th May in Pjazza San Ġorġ, the Valletta Green Festival is a spectacular exhibition of elegant floral displays. The open space of the pjazza will be filled with 80,000 potted plants of various colours to create a vivid canvas of flowers.

This year’s event honours Valletta’s 450th anniversary, a truly fitting homage to the city’s beauty and grace. The event will also include access to the secret gardens of the Archbishop’s Palace and, for the first time in 400 years, the monastery of St Catherine will be open to the public.

Valletta Pageant of the Seas

The Valletta Pageant of the Seas is a unique spectacle organised on 7th June in the Grand Harbour. The event is a tribute to the sea-faring lifestyle of Maltese people both past and present. On the day, there will be a variety of different events happening, including the organised swimming activity called L-Għawma ta’ Toni Bajada. This will see participants swimming from Fort St Angelo towards Valletta.

There will also be a boat race where participants will construct their own vessels from various materials. There will also be colourful nautical displays throughout the day and well into the night.

Utopian Nights

Starting on the 29th July, Utopian Nights is a series of events that aims to bring to light four themes of contemporary life: displacement, borders, encampment and the rise of global commons. Starting with “Displacement”, members of the public will be invited to an exhibition in front of Castille Place by Nigerian artist Jelili Atiku on the topic of displacement.

After the exhibition, there will be a debate discussing migration and displacement will take place at Herbert Ganado Gardens. Finally, to end the night, there will be a party in the garden featuring the Malta-based Kenyan rapper Abbas Kubaff, followed by DJ sets.

Ira Losco and Friends: Women in Music

During the summer months, Ira Losco will be hosting a two-night concert dedicated to women in music and their contributions to the music industry. Featuring local and international musicians, the concert aims to unite women from a diverse set of musical backgrounds to create a wonderful performance that the whole family can enjoy.

This energetic event will be held in the Pjazza Teatru Rjal and will feature a line-up of talented musicians from a variety of different genres and generations, creating a harmony of sounds that exemplifies people’s universal love for music.

Experience Valletta 2018

These events are only the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the year there will be hundreds of different events, exhibitions and workshops that all contribute in their own right towards Malta’s cultural significance. So make sure you get out there and experience as much of Valletta 2018 as you possibly can in the coming months.