Malta Republic Day or ‘Jum ir-Repubblika’ is celebrated in Malta on December 13 every year. It is a public holiday for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean, between Sicily and the North African coast. The country is known for its historic sites related to a succession of rulers including the Romans, Moors, Knights of Saint John, French and British. Maltese tourist attractions include numerous fortresses, megalithic temples, and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum. It’s a tiny nation with just over 500,000 people.
History of Malta Republic Day
Malta was colonized by the French, and their aggression towards the Maltese Catholic traditions made the French very unpopular among the Maltese. During the Napoleonic Wars, the British came to the aid of Malta, which led to Malta seeking the protection of the British Empire. Malta became part of the British Empire in 1814, as convened in the Treaty of Paris that ended the Napoleonic Wars.
Malta gained independence from the British in 1964, but its initial Constitution still recognized Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State of Malta. Ten years later in 1974, Malta became a Republic but continued to be a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The 1964 Constitution had to be revised, and on December 13, 1974, Malta became a republic with the approval of a new constitution and an elected president as head of state. Sir Anthony Mamo became the first president of the Republic of Malta, succeeding in his position as Malta’s governor.
On Republic Day the President of Malta, on behalf of the Government and the people of Malta, honors those Maltese citizens who have made outstanding contributions to their field. Celebrations are held in the Presidential Palace in Valletta, the capital city of Malta. On Republic Street, a military parade is organized by the armed forces of Malta. The streets are decorated with hanging banners of the Maltese flag and the country’s colors, red and white. Several events are organized by the Malta Council for Culture and Arts. Popular Maltese folk dances such as the ‘il-Maltija’ and the ’parata’ are also performed at the parade. Fireworks displays are organized all over the archipelago of Malta.
Malta Republic Day timeline
The first settlers in Malta are farmers, whose farming practices make the island virtually barren.
The French are expelled in 1800 with British, Neapolitan, and Portuguese assistance.
Malta becomes independent as a Commonwealth and is now known as the State of Malta.
The country becomes a member state of the European Union.
Malta Republic Day FAQs
What is Malta famous for?
Malta is a popular tourist destination and known for its warm climate and breathtaking landscapes that serve as locations for major film productions. The archipelago is home to some of the oldest temples in the world, such as the Megalithic Temples of Malta.
What was the official language of Malta before 1934?
Italian and Sicilian served as official and cultural languages on the island for centuries, with Italian being an official language in Malta until 1934.
Who was the final ruler of Malta during World War II?
Britain granted Malta self-governance after Malta’s loyalty to Britain during World War II.
How To Celebrate Malta Republic Day
The best way to enjoy Malta Republic Day is to visit the country around this time. The country is also home to some spectacular natural and historical sites, and has a vibrant tourist culture.
Enjoy Maltese food
If you can’t fly to Malta to celebrate Republic Day, enjoy some famous Maltese dishes. Try Pastizzi, a popular Maltese snack. Maltese bread and pastries are often unique and would be good to try.
Read about Malta
Find books on Maltese history or literature from the region. You will be surprised to see the rich body of work that has emerged from this tiny nation.
5 Facts About Malta That Will Blow Your Mind
One of the world’s smallest countries
Out of 236 countries, Malta ranks 204th in size and is the smallest country in the European Union.
The first planned capital city in Europe
Malta’s capital, Valletta, was the first-ever planned city in Europe.
The country has more tourists than citizens
There are 3 times more tourists than there are residents on the Maltese islands.
Malta has three official languages
They are English, Maltese, and Maltese Sign Language.
It has some of the world's oldest structures
Some structures date back to 3,600 BC.
Why We Observe Malta Republic Day
It teaches us about the country
Malta Republic Day is a great way to learn about the nation. It had a central role in the region for centuries and affected many other cultures.
Rich culture and heritage
On Malta Republic Day, learn more about Maltese culture. This day encourages us to find out more about Malta’s contribution to the arts and culture, and the diversity found in them.
A small place of great importance
Malta was dominated by many nations because of its political and geographical significance. Because of this, Maltese ways affected other nations around it.
Malta Republic Day dates