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National Holidays of Malta

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Freedom Day    March 31st 1979

Freedom Day is the anniversary of the withdrawal of the British troops and the Royal Navy from Malta in 1979. On taking power in 1971, Dom Mintoff as Prime Minister of Malta, expressed his desire to re-negotiate the agreement Malta had with the United Kingdom. Following several discussions, a new agreement was signed and on the 31 March 1979 the British Defence Treaty came to an end and the last remaining British Forces left Malta. The main events of the activities that generally commemorate this historic event take place at the Freedom Day Monument at Vittoriosa, whereby prominent dignitaries present flowers which are ceremoniously laid at the foot of the monument.  In the afternoon the traditional competitive regatta is hosted at the Grand Harbour. 

1979-2019 40th Anniversary

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Sette Giugno   June 7th 1919

The Sette Giugno Anniversary commemorates the events which occurred on the 7th of June 1919 when, following a series of riots by the Maltese population, the British troops fired into the crowd, killing civilians.  This happened in the aftermath of World War I, when the cost of living had increased dramatically and the Maltese colonial government failed to provide an adequate supply of basic food provisions for the people.  Political developments that were steaming at the time were also a fundamental contributor to the spirit of unrest which eventually led to the uprising.  Malta traditionally commemorates the event at St. George’s Square in Valletta by a ceremony where wreaths are laid over the Sette Giugno monument.

1919-2019 100th Anniversary

 

Watch Episodes profiling the history

 

Victory Day September 8th 

Victory Day is a national holiday that is commemorated on September 8th in remembrance of the victories in the Sieges of Malta: the Great Siege of Malta 1565,  Siege of Valletta by the French Blockade 1800 and  Siege of Malta during the Second World War 1943. To mark the event, the President places a symbolic garland to commemorate the victims of the World War at the foot of the monument named the Fallen of the Great Siege, consisting of three bronze figures symbolizing Faith, Fortitude, and Civilization in Valletta.

This day also coincides with the commemoration of the birth of the Virgin Mary, better known as the Nativity of Mary. It is locally known as il-Vitorja (the Victory) and il-Bambina (the Baby). The traditional regatta featuring boat races in the Grand Harbour is held on Victory Day.

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Independence Day September 21st 1964
Malta gained its political Independence from Britain on the 21st of September 1964. On the night of the 20-21st September, the Maltese flag was raised at Independence Arena, Floriana, amidst the cheers of the large crowd present. Malta had become an independent nation.

The  Independence Monument represents Malta liberating herself from shackles of the past while holding onto the national flag

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Republic Day December 13th 1974

The annual day of remembrance began in 1974, when Malta no longer called Queen Elizabeth their head of state and instead elected a President as a republic. In their own native tongue they call this day the ‘Jum ir-Repubblika’

After successfully negotiating for independence from the British Empire in 1964, Malta evolved into a Commonwealth realm, with the British monarch remaining as head of state. It was actually as a result of the Malta Labour Party victory of 1971 that the status quo changed once again. The Labour Party started pushing the concept of turning Malta into a republic with its own president. After Republic Day saw the constitution drastically altered on December 13, 1974, Malta made its last change of status into a republic in the Commonwealth of Nations. Sir Anthony Mamo began his term as the very first ever President of Malta.

These National Days in Malta are observed as public holidays and it is by law that the National Flag of Malta is flown on public buildings on such days.