Nadur Carnival is a rite of passage – if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere in the world where people wear grotesque masks, throw animal remains at you, and get so drunk they can’t even speak a decipherable language.
If you do get through it, it can turn out to be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. So here’s a list of essentials you’re going to want to keep in mind as you gear up for the big event.
1. Go with the right people
You will laugh, cry and lose everybody in the crowds. Make sure you have your best friends by your side for the highs and the lows.
2. Don’t even think about trying to drive there
Remember those amazing people you picked to go to Nadur with? Yeah, you’re going to hate them after spending 8 hours together in a tiny car queueing to get onto the boat.
So sit back, relax and skip the queues with Malta Public Transport. Bus routes to Ċirkewwa will be increased leading up to the weekend, so ditch the designated driver role and hop on en masse. You will never feel more smug than when you drive by on the bus lane and wave to your standstill peers.
3. Pick up a six-pack on the way to your farmhouse
No, we don’t mean beer. We’re talking about that which will save you from certain hangover death – water. And don’t share. Sharing is not for Nadur. You’ll understand when you wake up in the morning.
Once you get to your farmhouse, you’ll feel like the gods of temperature control have turned the whole world’s heating off. Bring extra blankets, socks, jumpers, coats, hot water bottles, pets – anything that will save you from frost bite and/or hypothermia.
5. Eat all the food
We once knew someone who left their friends in the middle of Nadur carnival to grab something to eat… haven’t seen them since. Stock up on snacks and actual food and eat them before you head out to the carnival craziness. You’re not going to want to leave the group.
8. Don’t leave the group!
If you’ve never been to Nadur, you need to know that it’s crazy. You’ll enter the long street thinking “Oh come on, this isn’t so bad!”. But as you wade deeper into the dense crowd of masks and puffy jackets, you will laugh at your former self. And then you’ll cry, because you’re not really sure if you’re going to survive it.
You will – as long as you stay with the group.
9. Sexy costumes are not the best idea
The best costumes at Nadur are the ones that personify a hilarious moment in current events – so more ‘funny and ironic’, less ‘look how hot I coincidentally look’. Don’t wear anything remotely sexy. No one will ever see it anyway because your coat will be wrapped around you so tight your blood circulation will hate you.
10. Don’t wear anything you’re attached to
Make peace with the fact that most of what you’re wearing will be destroyed by the end of it. The fun times will be totally worth it, but just think ahead so as to not spend your night worrying about how your brand new Chelsea boots from TopShop are going to get through it.
11. Don’t drink and drive
This just goes without saying for any event that involves alcohol. It’s super easy to use buses instead of spending your whole night looking for where you parked your car, and also putting yourself and your friends at risk. Special bus services will operate from Nadur to all localities in Gozo… so no excuses.
12. What happens in Nadur…
Will come back with you to Malta or your non-carnival life in Gozo. But – you should still let your hair down! Everyone is a little bit more daring and honest during carnival. Maybe it’s because of the masks they can hide behind.
13. Expect everything
In one night you’ll see – laughter, love, friendship, fights, people singing, people dancing, people waving carcasses around, naked people, couples practically having sex, couples having sex, people crying because they’ve lost their friends, people freezing because they tried to look sexy, hilarious costumes, scary costumes, FREAKING scary costumes…
Nothing is off the table. That’s why it’s so amazing.