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Sette Giugno

National and public holidays in Malta National Holiday in Malta

Malta
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When is Sette Giugno?

This national holiday is always celebrated on 7 June September. Also known as 'Seventh of June', it commemorates the killing of four rioters by British troops on 7 June 1919 .

History of Sette Giugno

Malta's position in the Mediterranean sea has made the islands a strategically important location since classical times, with the islands passing from one ruler to another through the ages.

In 1800, the British had assisted Malta in removing the occupying French forces and the Maltese people had asked to become a sovereign nation in the British Empire. This was ratified in the treaty of Paris in 1815.

Following the end of World War I, tensions had been rising due to the inability of the colonial government to ensure basic supplies to the island. This had led to some merchants being seen to have made a lot of money from the situation, while others fared badly.

Added to this was the feeling that political moves for greater autonomy and independence for Malta were seemingly going unheard.

In early June 1919, a change in the governor of the island was treated with skepticism by some and on 7 June, a crowd started removing British flags from buildings that had been flying at half mast across the island due to the recent death of the President of the Court.

The mob grew in size and turned their attentions to the homes of the merchants who had been doing well from the recent supply issues. It was at one of these houses that a stand off between the mob and the army ended in tragedy with the soldiers firing and killing three protestors and injuring fifty others. The uprising continued for a few days during which time, a fourth civilian died from injuries received while resisting arrest.

The uprising was short lasting, but its effect was that within two years, a new constitution giving more control to the Maltese people was in place followed by elections.

How is Sette Giugno celebrated?

In 1989, the Maltese Parliament declared the day to be one of the five national days of the island. It is a time to remember those who gave their lives while standing up for the rights of all Maltese.

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