Two weeks ago I went into Valletta to capture the spirit of the Maltese Carnival. This was my first attempt at documentary photography.
The Maltese carnival plays a big role in our history and culture. It was introduced to the Maltese by Grand Master Piero del Ponte in 1535 and we haven’t looked back since.
This is a large national festival. The main events are held in the capital city of Valletta, but many villages also celebrate on a smaller scale. Carnival is a full time hobby for those involved in creating the massive, colourful floats and the beautiful costumes, as a lot of preparation is needed.
Carnival is prevalent in most Catholic countries. Traditionally, the merry making preceded 40 days of fasting, leading up to Easter. The Maltese celebrate carnival in a big way highlighting their love for outdoor activities and having fun. Our love for overeating is another favourite pastime. This unhealthy habit of ours ensured that the fasting side of things is taken slightly less seriously!
As soon as I arrived I was immediately thrown into the carnival atmosphere. I had to decide on my priorities. Would it be better to document the carnival floats and the beautiful costumes, or capture the characteristics and antics of the spectators and the participants?
I wanted to document natural enthusiasm and so I decided to concentrate on children and to show their expressions of awe. Most children were in costume. They were having fun and they immersed themselves into the celebrations.
The photos I captured portray innocence, enthusiasm, excitement and happiness. Some of the children looked overwhelmed by the magnitude of the occasion.
Kids and Carnival