beautiful Valletta

Freedom Day In Malta – 31st of March

  • Feb 16, 2020

Why exactly is this specific public holiday special?

Freedom Day is one of Malta’s numerous national holidays. It’s celebrated annually on the 31st of March, and it marks the British troops and navy’s withdrawal from the islands.

We all know that the Maltese love a public holiday. But why exactly is this specific public holiday special? Let’s find out.

What is Freedom Day all about?

On the 31st of March 1979, the Royal and the British troops departed from Malta. This served as a former ‘farewell’ from the Brits’ end. When the Labour Government came into power in 1971, it wanted to re-negotiate the agreement that Malta had with the UK. Malta was granted its independence in 1964; however, after a series of intense talks, the Defense Treaty was extended to 1979, after which the last British forces had to leave the islands. 


The Freedom Day Regatta takes place on the 31st of March, at the Grand Harbour in Valletta. Valletta, the Three Cities – Birgu, Bormla and Isla, Kalkara, Birzebbuga, Marsa and Marsamxett all compete to win this highly-coveted race as spectators cheer for their favourite team. This race pits 7 participants against each other as they compete in 11 traditional regatta races of 1040 each.

The other main event is the Freedom Memorial. This takes place in Birgu 

(a.k.a Vittoriosa) and is an official event that involves national leaders such as the Maltese President giving speeches and placing commemorative wreaths at the base of the Freedom Day monument. 

You can also visit the famous gold-and-bronze eagle monument in Floriana – Malta’s War Memorial- which commemorates the 2000 air force crew members of the Commonwealth, with the inscribed air force motto “Per ardua, ad astra” (“Through struggles, to the stars”). 

Where to stay in Malta? 

If you’re looking for a place to stay while you’re in Malta, you should definitely opt to stay in Valletta. Malta’s capital city is the perfect base for your Mediterranean getaway. 

As you explore the city, you may come across Casa Ellul. This palazzo was carefully renovated into a boutique hotel that serves as your home away from home. 

The luxurious suites fuse the sense of modernity and traditionalism that characterise the Maltese islands, meaning that you’ll never be far from the motifs that remind you what Malta is all about. It’s also within walking distance to Valletta’s main attractions and only a short ride away from Malta’s key landmarks, towns and villages. Indulge in upscale sophistication and celebrate a vivid recollection of history with Casa Ellul.