Il-Vitorja: One of the most important national holidays in Malta
Il-Vitorja (meaning Victory Day) is one of five national holidays in Malta. It is celebrated on the 8th of September and commemorates important events for the Maltese Islands.
The events that are commemorated on this day are the:
- Victory of the Great Siege of Malta by the Knights of Malta and the Maltese people on the Ottoman Empire. This happened in 1565.
- Victories against the Italians. These victories occured during the Second World War, specifically in 1943.
- The Maltese people’s rebellion against French troops in Malta which happened in September 1800.
- The 8th of September also has a religious significance since it is connected to the nativity of Mary (this day is remembered universally by the Catholic Church). Religious feasts are in fact celebrated in Senglea, Mellieha, Naxxar and Xaghra on this special day.
Celebrations on Victory Day include the laying of wreaths at Fort St. Angelo (Vittoriosa) and on the Great Siege of Malta monument in Valletta.
Great Siege of Malta monument located in Republic Street in Valletta
In the afternoon, thousands of people head to the Grand Harbour to watch and follow the traditional Regatta races. Races usually start at around 2.00pm. These boat races are very competitive and participants would have been preparing and training for them all year long.
If you’re visiting Malta around this time and love boat races, than the Vitorja Regatta races are a definite must see for you!
In the evening Misraħ l-Assedju in the capital of Malta, Valletta is usually transformed into a cultural centre of musical and literature performances.