Some 60 years ago I first read about the tragedy on the last day of Carnival of 1823 when, within half an hour, 110 children died trampled to death or suffocated.

They died in a stampede as they attempted to leave the convent door in St Ursula Street, Valletta, after receiving some refreshments following an afternoon outing.

It was nobody’s fault but the result of unfortunate, unpredictable circumstances. Every Carnival I can’t help thinking about that national tragedy and, since then, whenever I give a talk or write about Carnival, I relate the sad story.

I feel that a monument or commemorative tablet should be erected somewhere. Numerous monuments have been erected for very much less. Participants in the children’s Carnival will then be able to lay a token wreath every year at the foot of such a monument or inscription and remember those 110 innocent Maltese children who died on the last day of Carnival traditionally known as ‘The death of Carnival’.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us