Fireworks remind me of my childhood. I remember standing out in the cold while my dad lights a few fireworks while I’m writing swearwords with my sparklers. Having fireworks on a night in November doesn’t make much sense to me.

The Maltese, however, have got it right. They wait until the end of April for their fireworks. Not only that, they don’t rely on a small box purchased from the local corner shop. No, they have an international fireworks competition.

The annual Malta International Fireworks Festival is held at the end of April and is spread over a few days at locations around Malta. The 2014 Grand Finale was held in Valletta.

This free event sees fireworks companies from around the world competing with the some of the best Maltese pyrotechnic experts.

The use of fireworks in Malta goes back to the Order of the Knights of St John, who used pyrotechnic displays to celebrate feasts and other special occasions. As well as something to go ‘oh’ and ‘ah’ over, they also gave Malta the eight-pointed Maltese Cross. Each point denotes one of the eight obligations of the knights. These are “to live in truth, have faith, repent one’s sins, give proof of humility, love justice, be merciful, be sincere and whole-hearted, and to endure persecution”. I guess that they couldn’t fit in a point for pyrotechnics.

Maltese Life

Fireworks are now such a part of Maltese life that passengers on most weekend evening flights to the Islands during June to September will see firework displays as various towns and villages celebrate their local festivals.

The winners of the 2014 Pyromusical competition were the UK based Pyrotex Fireworx.
This competition is more than just loud music to go with the fireworks, the sound track has to synchronise with the display.  I bet that their dads were better at fireworks than mine.

For details for next year’s festival visit or email


Thinking about watching the fireworks in Malta.

Thinking about watching the fireworks in Malta.