The Central Bank of Malta has released new collector coins that focus on one of the small Mediterranean island nation’s most beloved and longest-celebrated traditions — carnival week. The carnival is celebrated in February during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday and lasts for five days. The festival takes place across the islands, with the main celebrations in the capital, Valletta, where thousands gather to watch parades of colourful floats, music bands, and party-goers in bright costumes and exaggerated masks. Carnival has been a prominent celebration in the islands since the rule of the 45th Grand Master of the Order of Saint John, Grand Master Piero de Ponte, in 1535, but the origins of Maltese carnival have been celebrated since the 1400s. It was in the city of Birgu where knights first began parades and tournaments to showcase their skills, as well as encourage merriment. Centuries later, the carnival has become a truly beloved household tradition. Carnival week in Malta is guaranteed to lift the spirits of the entire island as during the week, it’s all about colour, masks, costumes, music, and cheer. The main party is in the capital of Valletta, but other cities and villages also have their own variation on the festivities. The Maltese island Gozo, for example, has a more macabre and humorous vibe. Malta carnival is one of the most important Maltese events, both in a religious and cultural way, and attracts thousands of tourists looking to experience the festivities.
Both the 2.50-euro base metal 2024 Karnival ta’ Malta and 10-euro silver Prooflike coins are produced and designed by the Royal Dutch Mint at their facilities in Houten, Netherlands, on behalf of the Central Bank of Malta. On the obverse side of both denominations, an animated female figure looks up, her arms spread out as if to welcome the festivities of carnival. She is also wearing a mask as is the tradition during the Malta carnival. The background consists of a mandala pattern which is specially detailed in vivid rainbow colours and is included on the silver examples. Below the primary design is the stylised text 2.5 or 10 EURO KARNIVAL TA’ MALTA. The reverse side depicts the standard crest or logo of the Central Bank of Malta along with the year of release, 2024, shown below.
|Prooflike with colour
Available from the 11th January, the 2.50-euro base metal coins are encased in a sealed coin-card format decorated with vivid colour designs and specification information. The Prooflike silver coins are encapsulated and presented in a custom case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information, please visit the website of the Royal Dutch Mint.