On February 11, 1823, a tragedy occurred at the Carnival celebration mass at the Convent of the Minori Osservanti in Valletta, in what was then the British Crown Colony of Malta.  Also referred to as the Carnival Tragedy of 1823, 110 boys were crushed to death in a rush to leave the church after celebrating a Carnival related bread ceremony.  Previously we have discussed disasters and tragedies related to religious events or gatherings, and today we take a look back on the sad events on Malta in 1823.

This time 200 years ago there occurred a tragedy during Carnival time in which 100 children were crushed to death in a Valletta convent. Research into the tragedy has shown that nobody was actually responsible for the tragedy but over the years the tragedy seems to have been forgotten and there is not even a memorial for the children.

The catastrophe at the Maltese carnival


In the 19th century, the monks at the convent annexed to the Ta’ Giezu church in Valletta would help young boys stay out of mischief during carnival. They would pray together and then give the boys food. In 1823, this act of charity turned into a catastrophe.

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