Malta gained its political Independence from Britain on the 21st of September 1964. On the night of the 20-21st September, the Maltese flag was raised at Independence Arena, Floriana, amidst the cheers of the large crowd present. Malta had become an independent nation.
Various activities are held every year to mark this important date in Maltese history.
The IN GUARDIA PARADE is a re-enactment that portrays an authentic event that took place regularly inside Malta’s major fortifications of the Order of St. John. The re-enactment portrays the inspection of the fort and its garrison by the Grand Bailiff of the Order of the Knights of St. John in charge of military affairs. During the re-enactment, of the fort’s garrison – some 55 re-enactors in all – are kitted-out in their uniforms to perform their military drill to demonstrate to the Grand Bailiff its state of readiness. The show begins at 11.00 a.m. and lasts 40 minutes.
This date commemorates the end of the Great Siege of 1565, the end of the French occupation of Malta in 1800 and co-incidentally enough the armistice of the Fascist regime in Italy in 1943. In the latter, the connection with Malta was two-fold: the bombardments by the ‘Aeronautica’ were over and the Italian Navy was brought to Malta to remain moored at St. Paul’s Bay until the end of the war.
The morning is taken up by various State ceremonies amongst which a parade by the Armed Forces of Malta. During the afternoon, an avidly contested traditional rowing boat regatta is held in the Grand Harbour. In the evening, there are at least four towns in Malta and Gozo, which celebrate the feast of Our Lady as a Child (Maria Bambina/Our Lady of Victory). Indeed the feast which is centuries old changed its name to Il-Madonna tal-Vitorja, following the end of the Great Siege of 1565.
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The ‘Spirit of Malta', Captain Morgan's large sailing catamaran departs from Sliema at 10:30am.
Built for cruising, it's the best way to enjoy a relaxing day at sea, sailing to the most scenic bays in Malta, Gozo and Comino. We do not have a fixed programme, we sail according to prevailing weather conditions. We stop for swimming /snorkelling in different bays and visit the famous Blue Lagoon in Comino (weather permitting).
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