You may only think of holidaying on Gozo during the sun-soaked summer months. But our lovely island makes a great destination for a winter break – and especially over the Christmas period.
From early December through to the new year Gozo celebrates Christmas in unique style with a festive mix of social and religious events held all across the island. Lights sparkle in houses, churches and village streets and you’ll see nativity scenes everywhere.
This short video clip nicely sums up Gozo’s delight in celebrating Christmas …
So, if you're thinking about a Christmas break consider our lovely island of Gozo for an unforgettable experience and maybe even a big family reunion in our cluster properties.
In this blog post we outline some of the reasons why choosing a Christmas holiday on Gozo could be the perfect present to give your family this year.
There is so many things to do on Gozo at Christmas time and you’ll find a comprehensive listing of all the festive events on Gozo between 30 November 2019 and 6 January 2020 in this Christmas In Gozo booklet.
Live-action nativity on Gozo
You’ll see nativity cribs everywhere on Gozo but one of our unique Christmas traditions is the live-action nativity which is acted out in the village of Għajnsielem. The event attracts thousands of visitors every year and is a must-see attraction if you are spending Christmas on Gozo.
Bethlehem f'Għajnsielem is a must visit during the festive period. Photo: VisitGozo.com
This year you can visit Bethlehem in Għajnsielem from 13 December. You'll see local people dressed in biblical era clothing going about their daily lives as they would have done 2,000 years ago.
There’s a traditional bakery, a carpenter’s workshop, blacksmith’s forge, shepherds, the local tavern, the market, a traditional Maltese water taxi (dghajsa) and even some Roman soldiers.
Of course, the star attraction is the grotto with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus and if you're around on 5 January 2020 you can witness the arrival of the three wise men.
Bustling Christmas market on Gozo. Photo credit: Ted Attard via VisitGozo.com
A Christmas market is almost guaranteed to get anyone in a festive mood and most villages on Gozo put on markets and Christmas fairs in the run up to the big day itself.
If you're having a family break on Gozo at Christmas, these markets are a great place to stock up on last last-minute Christmas gifts and to sample delicious local food and wine. There's usually some family entertainment too, and Santa has been known to make an appearance:
- Friday, and weekends throughout December – Villa Rundle Garden, Victoria.
- Saturday 7 December , 4.00pm-9.00pm – Parish Church, Kercem.
- Sunday 8 December, 10.00am-5.00pm – Parish Church, Kercem.
- Sunday 8 December, 8.00am - 2.00pm – Victory Square, Xaghra.
- Friday 13, Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 December, 10.00am - 8.00pm – Gozitano Agricultural Village, Xewkija.
- Friday 13 & Saturday 14 December, 6.00pm – St. John The Baptist Square, Xewkija.
- Saturday 14 December, 6.00pm - Midnight – Munxar.
- Sunday 15 December, 10.00am - 5.00pm – Munxar.
Children’s Christmas activities
Christmas is an especially magical time for children. Gozo's twinkling lights, nativity scenes and Christmas carols will all appeal to your little ones but we also have some events specifically designed for children, where they can have some fun and meet Santa:
- Friday 6 December to Christmas Eve, 10.00am - 5.30pm – The Magro Christmas Family Fest, Savina Centre, Xewkija. With carousel rides, cooking and craft sessions.
- Saturday 15 December, 10.00am - 6.00pm – Children's World, Villa Rundle Gardens, Victoria. Expect a heady mix of face-painting, games, and arts and crafts.
- Thursday 19 December, 7.00pm – Santa Claus Is Coming To Nadur, St. Peter & St. Paul's Square, Nadur. This Christmas village is designed for family fun, and children can take a selfie with Santa.
Traditional carol concerts
It wouldn't be Christmas without some carol singing. Luckily, Gozo's many choirs are all in good voice at this time of year and there are plenty of opportunities for the audience to sing along as well both:
Christmas concert by the Chorus Urbanus choir at St. George’s Basilica, Gozo. Photo credit: VisitGozo.com
Music is an important part of Gozitan culture and over the Christmas period you can enjoy many different types of musical concerts, from traditional orchestral performances to rock and pop concerts. So, it shouldn't be hard to find something that all the family will enjoy:
- Sunday 15 December, 7.00pm – The Grand Christmas Concert, St Margaret Parish Church, Sannat, featuring the St. Margaret band and guest singers.
- Sunday 15 December, 8.00pm – Feel The Magic of Christmas, St. George's Basilica, Victoria. This popular event has been on the Gozitan Christmas calendar for 25 years and features music from the Urbanus Festive Orchestra and the Urbanus junior and adult choirs.
- Friday 20 December, 8.00pm – Angelo & Friends Christmas Concert, Oratory Don Bosco, Victoria. Tenor Angelo Muscat sings everything from classical to traditional Christmas songs.
- Saturday 21 December, 7.15pm– Nativitate Domini Christmas Concert, Parish church of Żebbuġ, featuring The Regina Angelorum Choir.
- Saturday 21 December, 7.30pm – The Leone Grand Christmas Show. The Aurora Theatre, Victoria hosts this popular event featuring the Aurora Youth Choir, and an entertaining medley of songs and dancing.
- Monday 23 December, 4.45pm – O, Baby Jesus Concert, Parish church of Żebbuġ, featuring The St Mary Philharmonic Society of Żebbuġ.
- Tuesday 24 December, 10.30pm – Christmas Concert, St Anthony’s Church, Għajnsielem.
- Tuesday 24 December, 11.00pm – Christmas Concert, featuring music played on the pipe organ at St John The Baptist Rotunda Church, Xewkija.
- Christmas Day, 1.00am – Pop Into Christmas, St. George's Square, Victoria. Straight after the Midnight Mass at St. George's Basilica, local band D Capitals will put on a concert to celebrate Christmas with a variety of pop and seasonal music and songs.
- Christmas Day, 7.00pm – The Grand Christmas Concert, St Peter & St Paul Basilica, Nadur.
- Boxing Day, 7.30pm – Christmas Concert, St Lawrence Parish Church, San Lawrenz.
- Friday 27 December, 8.00pm – Christmas Rocks the Astra 2019 at the Astra Theatre, Victoria. A live Christmas rock concert featuring the Gozo Youth Orchestra with local rock musicians and guest singers.
- Saturday 28 December, 7.30pm – Christmas Concert, Xagħra Parish Church, Xagħra.
Christmas parades and pageants
The annual Christmas Parade has become a great attraction for all the family. Photo: VisitGozo.com
If you've visited Gozo in festa season you'll know that Gozitans love to put on parades and processions. At Christmas, you'll see pageants in most villages with everyone dressed in biblical costume and carrying a statue of baby Jesus.
- Sunday 22 December, 7.30 – Christmas Parade, Republic Street, Victoria.
- Sunday 22 December, 6.30pm – Christmas Pageant, San Lawrenz. This pageant has been performed for 50 years and there will be a special celebration in the village afterwards.
- Monday 23 December, 4.45pm – Christmas Procession, Żebbuġ.
- Tuesday 24 December, 6.00pm – Christmas Eve Procession, Xewkija.
- Tuesday 24 December, 7.00pm Christmas Eve Procession, Victoria.
- Tuesday 24 December, 6.00pm – Christmas Eve Procession, Qala.
- Tuesday 24 December, 7.00pm – Christmas Eve Pageant, Nadur.
- Christmas Eve, 7.00pm – Christmas Procession, Victoria.
- Christmas Day, 5.00pm – Christmas Procession, Xagħa.
- Boxing Day, 6.30pm – Christmas Procession, Sannat.
The Feast of St. Lucy
Girls dressed as St. Lucy during the Feast of St. Lucy, Gozo. Photo credit: VisitGozo.com
Every year in the middle of December, the village of Santa Lucija celebrates the Feast of its patron saint, Saint Lucy. For 2019 the Feast will be held on two days:
- Thursday 12 December, 8.00pm – Sacred music concert in the parish church.
- Saturday 14 December, 6.30pm – Procession of girls dressed as St. Lucy.
Families visiting Gozo with children will want to catch the Saturday evening festival of light. This involves local girls dressed as St. Lucy and wearing crowns of candles processing around a bonfire in the village square. There are also marching bands and fireworks. Be sure to try the delicious buns made in the village.
Ask us for help
Baron Holiday Homes is happy to organise car hire, tours of Gozo, and special activities for our guests. Just get in touch and we'll tell you all you need to know about walks near to your rental property, special events in villages nearby, and other local information.
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