Maltese culture is a blend of the loves and beliefs of rulers throughout its history. Customs passed down generations have been essential to Malta maintaining its roots. Within a short stroll, Malta offers a glimpse into its history, a connection to its present-day culture and glimpse into its future. Beautifully preserved Catholic churches are a huge part of Maltese culture. Religious festivals are the most important days of the year, and celebrations are large, loud and joyous. Those lucky enough to be in Malta during the football season or even the European Championship or World Cup will also experience Malta's raw and infectious passion for its favourite sport.
Food and Drink
Its cuisine is a reflection of its ethos, culture and people; flavoursome, rustic and uncomplicated. Malta grows delicious vegetables and fruit, and these are the bedrock of its cuisine. People enjoy all the benefits of supremely fresh seafood including octopus, lobster and swordfish. These are mixed with influences from Sicily, in its pasta dishes, and North Africa. They are seen on restaurant menus along with traditional English dishes including deep-filled pies and sausage and mash. Deserts are held in equally high esteem. Light, flaky, freshly-cooked pastry deserts often follow. The arrival of Easter brings not only religious rejoicing, but an abundance of almond-stuffed pastries, which are enjoyed with coffee.
Historians believe that people first settled on the island in Neolithic times and Malta has endured a torrid history. In the 1500's St, John of Jerusalem was given control of Malta by the Holy Roman Empire. They ruled until the early eighteen hundreds. Later that decade 'Suleyman the Magnificent' attacked Malta. Once Valletta was founded, the island grew in stature and strength. Napoleon stamped his mark on Malta at the end of the seventeen hundreds and Malta's profile was raised even further in 1869. During The Second World War Malta was heavily bombed and it was not until 1942, when the worst of the attacks had passed, Malta started to rebuild. In the late nineteen nineties Malta's Nationalist Party was elected to power and Malta finally joined the European Union in May 2004.