Victory Day is a public holiday celebrated over here in Malta, every year, on this day, the 8th September. Victory Day recalls the end of three historical sieges which took place in the Maltese Islands.
These are, the Great Siege of Malta by the Ottoman Empire ending in 1565; the Siege of Valletta by the French Blockade ending in 1800; and, the Siege of Malta during the Second World War by the Italian army ending in 1943.
It is locally known as il-Vitorja (the Victory) and il-Bambina (the Baby). The traditional regatta featuring boat races in Valletta’s Majestic Grand Harbour is held on Victory Day
This day also coincides with the commemoration of the birth of the Virgin Mary, better known as the Nativity of Mary, which is celebrated in the villages of Senglea, Naxxar and Mellieha in Malta and Xaghra in Gozo.
In fact, Xaghra was the locality chosen for the official State Commemoration of this Public Holiday, as The Guard of Honour and the Armed Forces of Malta Band were present, and were also inspected by H.E. Dr George Vella, President of Malta, followed by a General Salute by the Band.
This was followed by a Pontifical Mass led by Bishop of Gozo Anton Teuma. The congregation included President of Malta George Vella and Prime Minister Robert Abela.
Photos: Department of Information – DOI – Jason Borg