21 SEPTEMBER 1964
Independence Day is an annually celebrated national holiday that marks the day Malta was granted its freedom from the British Empire’s rule on the 21st of September 1964.
Malta Independence Conference, 1963
The 21st of September 1964, marks the day when Malta finally achieved its independence from Britain, specifically pertaining political affairs.
Throughout the years, Malta has always been considered as the ideal base, given its strategic location in the heart of the Mediterranean. The island of Malta fell colony to various nations throughout the years, making Independence Day even more important to the nation and its people.
After achieving a responsible government as a result of the events that occurred on The Sette Giugno (7th of June 1919), the Maltese people have since strived towards independence. It was only until the heavy bombardment Malta suffered during World War II, coupled with the nation’s resilience and bravery, that the prospect of independence from the United Kingdom became possible.
While some local rule was given in 1947, full independence from the United Kingdom was only granted on the 21st of September 1964. As a now Independent Sovereign State, Malta became a member of the Commonwealth. However, even though independence was granted, the Queen was still head of the Commonwealth realms, granting her a constitutional role. The Queen of Malta remained Head of State until Malta became a republic in 1974. With Independence Day marking self-governance, this national holiday is often associated with the Prime Minister of Malta.
COMMEMORATING INDEPENDENCE DAY
As part of the celebrations centred on Independence Day, a Pontifical Mass by the Bishop of Malta is held at the St. John’s Co-Cathedral Valletta. This mass is followed by a flower-laying ceremony in front of the Independence Monument in Floriana, attended by The President of Malta, the Prime Minister, and the Leader of Opposition.
In the evening, the Independence Day Concert is organised by the National Festivities Committee, under the patronage of the President of Malta. This concert includes performances from the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra as well as vocals by seasoned sopranos.
The next Independence Day event will occur on Monday 21st September 2020, marking the national holiday’s 55th anniversary.
Due to the current situation, Independence Day 2020 Celebrations may take a different format.
Independence Day Monument, Floriana