Spontaneity is key!
The Nadur Carnival in Gozo is very different than the one organized in Malta. Il-Karnival tan-Nadur, as it’s locally known, has been increasing in popularity year after year.
In fact, it’s now common place to see extremely long queues of cars and people (both Maltese and tourists) waiting at the Gozo ferry terminal to cross over to Gozo to go to the carnival in Nadur.
This year, this popular spontaneous carnival is going to be held from the 24th till the 28th of February. (On the 19th of February, a Carnival show will be held at the main square of Nadur).
Nadur is referred to as Gozo’s “second city” and has a population of around 5000.
What mainly differentiates this Gozo carnival in Nadur, is the fact that it’s spontaneous. That means that unlike the Malta Carnival, it’s not organized by a committee and therefore essentially there are no rules to adhere to.
In fact it’s so spontaneous, that there’s no telling when the carnival ends. It basically ends when the people leave!
What can you expect to see at this carnival?
Countless masked and hooded people, people wearing all kinds of costumes ranging from bland boiler suits to nun habits, grotesque masks, wigs, bizarre make up, pregnant costumes, men dressed as women, dead chickens in cages … the list is endless!
Revelers do not engage in any organized and planned dances, but simply walk up and down the Nadur streets, taking the mickey out of each other and out of everyone else.
All this is fueled by their huge sense of humour and desire for grotesque fun.
If they’re wearing a mask, they will most likely not speak at all so nobody can recognize their voice. This is why this carnival is also sometimes called the Silent Carnival.
For some, the atmosphere may seem a bit eerie or macabre even. Yes, this carnival is not for everyone.
Nowadays, the Nadur Local Council organizes a separate carnival which is usually held in the main village square.
So if you go to Gozo for this carnival, you can experience both an organized carnival as well as the more popular spontaneous one.