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‘Carnival is part of who we are’

Record number of participants in dancing competitions

Video: Mark Zammit Cordina

Carnival this year attracted a record number of participants in the dancing competitions, with more than 20 companies and 15 dance schools taking part.

Marvic Aquilina, 41, said she loved dancing in carnival and had been taking part ever since she was a child. “When you’re born and raised in Valletta, carnival becomes a part of who you are,” she said.

Similarly, Malcolm Bezzina, 24, said Valletta residents grew up amid carnival floats and celebrations.

Joseph Mifsud, who has been involved in carnival for the past 18 years, said the best part of it was creating a show for others.

“You’re building a float, or a costume, out of cardboard or paper,” he said.

Luckily, we always manage to get a day or two to celebrate

Thousands of merrymakers, many in costume, gathered in the streets of Valletta on Sunday to watch the annual parade. Carnival ran the risk of being cancelled this year as torrential rain fell on Friday and Saturday, wiping out most of the planned events.

Carnival floats had to seek shelter under specially installed protective tents erected close to the Addolorata Cemetery and only inched their way to the capital when the skies became clearer yesterday.

“All competitors worry about the rain and we think of the money spent, the costumes, the floats and the dance routines,” Mr Bezzina said.

“We’re worried about the rain every year. Luckily, we always manage to get a day or two to celebrate.”

The bad weather seems to have done little to keep crowds away from Nadur, where the “spontaneous carnival” started as planned on Friday and appears determined to keep going until tomorrow.

Saturday night attracted the largest crowd, as many took to the streets wearing satirical and colourful costumes, attracting locals and tourists alike.

The inclement weather did little to keep the crowd of carnival revellers away from Nadur.The inclement weather did little to keep the crowd of carnival revellers away from Nadur.

Photos: Mark Zammit Cordina, Anaca PhotographyPhotos: Mark Zammit Cordina, Anaca Photography

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