Il-Qarċilla at the Inquisitor’s Palace

Heritage Malta will be treating its patrons to an original and unique Carnival event this year: Il-Qarċilla at the Inquisitor’s Palace.

Karnival 1Il-qarċilla is a poetic farce in Maltese which up to a hundred years ago formed part of the Carnival celebrations held in Valletta and was also very popular in a number of villages. A man, acting as a notary, would in the presence of two youngsters, acting as husband and wife-to-be, read out a marital contract in verse filled with satirical innuendos and humour. The crowd would gather in the streets of Valletta to listen to the poem which, in some instances, could require an adult audience.

The first qarċilla on record was written for the 1760 carnival festivities by Cospicua poet Dun Feliċ Demarco.  Amongst the works of Demarco, one also finds Iż-Żwieġ la Maltija (Marriage the Maltese way) which is the only one of his works which survived till this day.

Karnival 2Il-Qarċilla will take place at The Inquisitor’s Palace in Vittoriosa on Monday 3rd March at 8pm. The programme includes a short talk by Olvin Vella about the tradition linked to this event, a talk by Trevor Zahra about its revival, a performance and a reception.

Tickets at €10 can be purchased from all Heritage Malta sites and museums and online on

For more information about this and other similar events one can visit the official Heritage Malta website or follow the agency’s pages on Facebook.