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Happy feast! Here’s why the Maltese celebrate Victory Day today
#PublicHolidayVibes

Jillian Mallia

Happy feast day, everyone! Thanks to our ancestors, today the Maltese Islands have got a glorious public holiday to enjoy. Today, 8th September we celebrate Victory Day which commemorates a bunch of events in Maltese history.

Why we celebrate

Today’s feast commemorates the end of the 1565 Great Siege – possibly one of the Knights’ most intense battles, the end of the French occupation in 1800, and also the 1943 armistice of the Fascist regime in Italy.

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State ceremonies

Usually, state ceremonies commemorating Victory Day take up most of the entire day, starting off with the military parade in the morning. The President of the Republic makes an appearance to these events and flowers are laid by the Antonio Sciortino ‘Great Siege’ monument. Once these are done, it’s time to head to the Grand Harbour for some cool festivities.

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Regatta

Despite COVID-19 getting in the way, the annual Regatta is still taking place safely at the Grand Harbour. This year, seven districts are taking part: Birgu, Birzebbuga, Bormla, Isla, Kalkara, Marsa and Marsamxett. The seven districts, including 120 rowers and 25 subs, will compete for the Regatta Shield during the afternoon as they race in Valletta’s Grand Harbour.

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Town festas

In a usual year, four towns across the islands namely Naxxar, Senglea, Mellieha and Xaghra (Gozo), go all out, celebrating their town’s feast with a bang as today’s public holiday coincides with the feast of Our Lady as a Child (Maria Bambina) and Our Lady of Victories. And on the Maltese Islands this only means a bomb of a celebration we call festa usually including colourful fireworks display, street food, processions, and decorations around the town. This year, unfortunately COVID had other plans and all festas have been cancelled. We’ll hopefully get the full experience next year!

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8th September 2020


Jillian Mallia
Written by
Jillian Mallia
A book lover, writer and globetrotter who loves exploring new places and the local gems that the Maltese Islands have to offer. An avid foodie and arts fanatic, Jillian searches the island and beyond for the perfect settings to write about.

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