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Celebrating Sette Giugno in Malta

June 7th, or "Sette Giugno," is a significant public holiday in Malta, marked by a blend of historical reflection and modern-day celebration. This day commemorates a pivotal moment in Maltese history, embodying the nation's enduring spirit and desire for self-determination.

What is Sette Giugno?

The origins of Sette Giugno date back to 1919, a time when Malta was under British colonial rule. Post-World War I economic hardships and rising costs of living had strained the Maltese population. Frustrations increased by political discontent, as many Maltese felt their voices were not being adequately represented by the colonial administration.

On June 7, 1919, these tensions reached a boiling point. Thousands of Maltese took to the streets of Valletta in protest. The demonstrators demanded better economic conditions and greater political autonomy. The situation escalated when British troops opened fire on the crowd, resulting in the deaths of four Maltese citizens: Manwel Attard, Francesco Azzopardi, Guze' Bajada, and Karmenu Abela. This tragic event marked a turning point in Maltese history, galvanizing the push for greater self-governance.

What is the Significance of Sette Giugno?

Sette Giugno is more than a commemoration of a tragic event; it symbolizes the Maltese struggle for justice and self-determination. The events of June 7, 1919, were a catalyst for significant political change. They led to the establishment of the Amery-Milner Constitution in 1921, which granted Malta a degree of self-governance with a legislative assembly. This was a critical step towards full independence, which Malta achieved in 1964.

Celebrations and Observances Today

Today, Sette Giugno is observed with a variety of ceremonies and activities that honor the memory of those who fought for Maltese rights. Official ceremonies, including wreath-laying events at monuments dedicated to the 1919 riot victims, are held and attended by high-ranking officials such as the President and Prime Minister. Citizens gather in towns and cities across Malta, with Valletta hosting the most prominent events due to its historical significance. Educational programs in schools and universities focus on the day's historical importance, featuring lectures, exhibitions, and discussions. Cultural events, such as concerts, theatrical performances, and art exhibitions, celebrate Maltese heritage and resilience, fostering a sense of national identity and unity. Extensive media coverage, including documentaries, interviews with historians, and special news segments, helps keep the memory of Sette Giugno alive and relevant for new generations.


Sette Giugno is a day of profound significance for Malta, serving as a reminder of the nation's journey towards self-determination and the sacrifices made along the way. It is a day to honor the courage of those who stood up against oppression and to celebrate the resilience and unity of the Maltese people. As Malta continues to grow and evolve, Sette Giugno remains a cornerstone of its national identity, reminding all of the importance of justice, freedom, and self-governance.

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