The Yearly Maltese Festive Calender and Events 

1. January, New Year's Day

Like all the countries around the world, Malta celebrates New Year’s Day with a public holiday every 1st January. The celebrations begin on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.


Valletta and nearby Floriana, host the biggest street parties, with Free Admission to many parties, with a countdown to midnight followed by fireworks display at party’s end. People gather in Saint George’s Square, Valletta.  Whilst best place to see the pyrotechnics Floriana, is in Saint Anne’s Street, Floriana. 

10. February, Feast of St Paul's Shipwreck

According to the Bible’s Acts 27:27 through 28:11, around the year A.D. 60 it is said that the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked on Malta.  The Feast of Saint Paul’s kept on February 10th of each year, celebrates the account of Paul’s shipwreck and three-month, wintertime stayson Malta 


Services are held at the Church of Saint Paul’s Shipwreck, which is among the oldest churches in Valletta, dating from the 1570s. Afterwards a procession takes place around the streets of Valletta with Saint Paul’s statue, accompanied by marching band music, overhanging banners, falling confetti, and cheering crowds. There is also a noontime procession with just the marching band. As per tradition all Festivities in Malta are accompanied by fireworks during the day and most specially at night, where the most colourful Fireworks adorn the sky

19. March, Feast of St Joseph

This Feast runs very deep in the Maltese tradition, it has been of special remembrance since the 10th century.  Malta observes the Feast of St Joseph as a public holiday yearly to honour and learn from the example of Joseph the husband of Mary and legal earthly father of Jesus. This date is also International Worker’s Day, it is believed to reflect Jospeh as the patron saint of workers


Special masses are held in churches around the island. A colourful procession with the statue of Saint Joseph around the street of Rabat accompanied by musical bands. Numerous fireworks display around Malta will light the night sky.

31. March, Freedom Day

March 31st is “Freedom Day” in Malta, the day of the final withdrawal of British troops and naval units from the island.  Malta is a small archipelago of seven islands, but it has a rich history that is extremely unique. It had long been passed back and forth by empire builders, but on March 31st, 1979, it became 100 percent independent in every respect.


A military parade and band travel from Cospicua to the Freedom Day monument in Vittoriosa. National leaders place commemorative wreaths at the base of the stone monument.  Services are held at the War Memorial in Floriana. Where, bouquets of flowers are placed at the foot of marble column with a shining, gold-and-bronze eagle perched on its top. Around noon a traditional boat race – The Grand Harbour Regatta is held, where numerous colourful Maltese boats, from harbour area towns compete between themselves for the Regatta Shield.

Good Friday  - Date Varies

With the coming of Spring many celebrations around the world are about rebirth and renewal, in Malta most of the celebrations are of a religious nature occurring in churches across the island.  Countless festivals, processions, passion plays, marches, and various other celebrations take place during Easter week. The Holy Week starts officially on Palm Sunday and concludes with the Easter Triduum – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. The commemorations begin on the Friday prior to Good Friday, with the practice of carrying the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows through the village streets.


On Palm Sunday in the morning a procession is held in every village commemorating Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  In the evening many pageants are held in several village squares around Malta. On Maundy Thursday, commemoration of the Last Supper is held in churches, celebrating the institution of the Eucharist as the true body and blood of Jesus Christ and the institution of the sacrament of the priesthood. Traditionally, the faithful pay visits to seven Altars of Repose preferably in different churches.  The most popular are the Altars of Repose that are ser in the churches of the Three Cities, Vittoriosa, Cospicua & Senglea.  In sone localities the tinging of the church bell is stopped and substituted by the Cuqlajta.

Good Friday is a day of penance, and strictly observed by many through the veneration of the Cross and through traditional Good Friday processions in different parishes. Statues representing various scenes from the Passion and Death of Christ, several of them veritable works of art by local artisans, are carried processionally. 

The 8 traditional statues show:

  •  Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, 
  • The Flagellation, 
  • Jesus Crowned with thorns otherwise known as the 'Ecce Homo' 
  • Jesus Falls Under the cross, 
  • The Veronica, 
  • 'Il-Vara l-Kbira' (The Cruxifixion), 
  • The Burial of Christ)
  • Our Lady of Sorrows. 

Figures dressed in Biblical, Roman and Jewish attire also take part, as do the local bands playing funeral marches, the most popular ones being the processions of Zebbug & Qormi, as several chariots drawn by horses and other animals mentioned in the Bible are present.

On Easter Sunday – the ringing of church bells announces the Resurrection of Christ. Mid-morning on Easter Sunday, a procession with the statue of the Risen Christ moves along the streets accompanied by band playing festive tunes. At the end, the way is cleared and the statue-bearers take a run to carry the Risen Christ triumphantly back into the church.

1. May, Workers' Day

The 1st of May is a special day in Malta’s already busy social calendar. Not only does the island join the rest of the world in commemorating International Workers’ Day “to promote solidarity amongst workers and a healthier working environment”, but of Malta also celebrates its accession to the European Union.


The Town of Birkirkara, celebrates the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, with Church ceremonies, and a procession with the statue of St. Joseph accompanied by marching music bands and Fireworks.In the evening a display of light, laser shows and Fireworks accompanied by music take place in the Grand Harbour commemorating the accession into the EU.

7. June, Sette Giugno

Sette Giugno, meaning in Italian “Seventh of June,” is a Maltese national holiday that commemorates the riots of 1919, in which four Maltese nationals died when fired upon by British soldiers. 


A commemoration of the 1919 Riot held at St. George’s Square in Valletta or a similar event held in Xaghra, Gozo, which is followed up by a ceremony where wreaths are laid over a Sette Giugno monument. 

29. June, Feast of St Peter and St Paul

The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul is a public holiday in Malta and one of the oldest celebrations in the country, dating from even before the famed Knights of Saint John first arrived on Malta in the early 16th Century. The holiday has been celebrated by Roman Catholics since at least the 3rd Century A.D. It is Locally known as L-Imnarja (Festival of Light) and is celebrated a few days after the summer solstice.  


In Buskett Garden, during the evening of June 28th, there are food stalls set up selling rabbit dishes and locally made wines.  Many Maltese come to Buskett to attend, with some staying all through the night.  On the Day (29th) also in Buskett, there is an agricultural exhibit held.

On the 29th, in Rabat, musical performances, dancing, festive dishes that predominantly include rabbit, and horseback riding continue unabated all day long. In the afternoon on June 29th, not too far from Mdina, you can watch donkeys and horses race down a country road. The winners of the races receive a “palju,” which is a kind of victory banner that functions the same as a trophy. The commander of the Knights of Saint John used to give the banner to the victors in Medieval times

15. August, Feast of the Assumption

The Feast of the Assumption is a religious festival observed primarily by Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox believers, which is meant to commemorate the mysterious “assumption” of the Virgin Mary’s body and soul to heaven. The feast has grown in the course of Maltese history and is celebrated with great devotion and fanfare, sometimes for the full week leading up to August 15th.


The feast is held in seven different municipalities throughout the islands of Malta and Gozo. Attard, Dingli, Mgarr Mosta, Mqabba, Qrendi and Victoria, Gozo. Festivities will start from 15 days before, where the village streets leading to the main square would be adorned in festoons, majestic pavilions, lights, statues of saints and biblical characters.  Marching bands will be playing festive music along the streets every day, while concerts and other social activities are held starting from a week before the day of the feast.  Ground Fireworks known as Catherine Wheels (pyrotechnic displays mounted on poles in the streets) and together with petards amd fireworks, make the Maltese Festa a memorable one.

8. September, Victory Day

The Feast of Our Lady of Victories, or in shorter form “Victory Day”, falls on every September 8th.  Victory Day was originally known as Il-Bambina (Baby Mary) Day and designed to celebrate the nativity of the Virgin Mary. This aspect of the holiday persists till today, but it also commemorates several victories of the Maltese people over their enemies, throughout the centuries. After the great victory of the Knights of Saint John over the Turkish invaders in 1565, the holiday began to be called “Il-Madona tal--Vitorja” (Our Lady of Victories).  The second victory that this commemorates is that of the Maltese people over the French invaders in September of 1800.Finally, Victory Day also remembers the heroic resistance of Malta against the Axis bombing campaign during World War II, for which King George VI of the UK gave them the George Cross, which appears on their flag to this day.


An official military parade and the ceremony of the president inspecting the Honour Guard are held in Valletta. In the afternoon, the regatta is held in Grand Harbour, where boat rowing competitors from all across Malta gather to display the fighting spirit that won the victories of the past in a new, more entertaining context.

21. September, Independence Day

Independence Day in Malta is celebrated on the 21st September, commemorating the day in 1964 when Malta officially gained its full independence from Great Britain.


Numerous parades, festivals, musical performances, and cultural events all over the main island of Malta and Gozo

8. December, Immaculate Conception

Like other holy feasts, the Catholic holy feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is a public holiday.

People in Malta celebrate Immaculate Conception much like others do in other countries. They attend holy mass, have a private “party” at home, go Christmas shopping, watch parades, and view fireworks displays in the dead of the night Some also may pray or sing to Mary for hours on end.

13. December, Republic Day

The annual day of remembrance began when Malta no longer called Queen Elizabeth their head of state and instead elected a President as a republic.  After being ruled by the English for 174 years Malta became a Republic on the 13th December, 1974.  


An Award Ceremony is held where the President of Malta bestows awards on those deserving individuals for meritorious service or for having garnered personal success that brings fame and honour to Malta Wreath laying ceremonies at all notable monuments, such as the Republic Day monument in Marsa. Military parades are held in Valletta and Marsa.

25. December, Christmas Day

Christmas is celebrated with great enthusiasm each year in the island-nation of Malta, both for its religious importance and its more secular, “social” significance. As Malta is predominantly Roman Catholic, many of its Christmas traditions are similar to those in other Catholic countries, but Malta is also a very unique place that cannot help but leave its own unique mark on the way Christmas is kept.


In homes, churches, and public streets alike, you will see the “presepju” (nativity scenes) that include cribs and various figures, such as shepherds, angels, Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, and Jesus. Recently the mechanical presepju with “moving part” got more popular with annual competitions being held.  Exhibitions of these mechanical presepji, are held in many private houses, clubs and community centres. Another Maltese tradition is “the preaching of the child,” which is a sermon given by a boy or girl of around seven to 10 years of age during the midnight mass.  Throughout December, several Villages will hold Christmas Markets, selling local products and Christmas related items.  In Valletta a full program is held throughout all of December with several choirs singing in churches and other activities along the streets of the capital. Not forgetting to mention the amazing and colourful street lights adorning each village centre.