Public holidays in Malta
Malta is the country with the most holidays in the European Union. Since 2005, any holidays falling on Saturdays or Sundays do not add an extra day to the workers' leave pool. 31 March: Freedom Day 7 June: Sette Giugno 8 September: Victory Day 21 September: Independence Day 13 December: Republic Day 1 January: New Year's Day 10 February: Feast of Saint Paul's Shipwreck in Malta - the apostle is the patron saint of Malta 19 March: Feast of Saint Joseph Friday before Easter: Good Friday 1 May: Worker's Day 29 June: Feast of Saint Peter. Note that, with the exception of the dates mentioned in the previous section, these feasts are not public holidays and on these days, business runs as usual across the Maltese islands; as Malta is Roman Catholic, most of these feasts celebrate Saints or events from the Holy Bible. January by the Maltese is known as'ix-xahar tal-bard' 1 January: New Year's Day First Sunday after 1 January: Epiphany 13 January: St Anthony the Abbot in Rabat 27 January: Conversion of Saint Paul in Mdina February by the Maltese is known as'ix-xahar ta' San Pawl' 2 February: Candlemas 3 February: Saint Blase 10 February: Saint Paul Shipwreck in Valletta and Munxar 14 February: Saint Valentine March by the Maltese is known as'ix-xahar ta' San Ġużepp, tal-Lunzjata u tar-roħs' 27 March: Jesus of Nazareth in Sliema 19 March: Staint Joseph in Rabat 25 March: Annunciation 31 March: Freedom Day April is known by the Maltese as'ix-xahar tan-nwhar u ta' San Girgor'.
1 April: April Fool's Day First Wednesday after Easter Sunday: Saint Gregory 6 April: Saint Publius in Floriana 23 April: Saint George in Qormi and Rabat The following feasts are moveable, as they can occur either in March or in April. Friday before Palm Sunday – Our Lady of Sorrows Palm Sunday Good Friday Easter May by the Maltese is known as'ix-xahar tal-ħsad, tal-Madonna ta' Pompej' 1 May: Saint Joseph the Worker with a feast at Ħamrun and Birkirkara 2 May: Our Lady of Liesse in Valletta 3 May: Feast of the Cross in Birkirkara 3 May: St. Augustine in Valletta 9 May: Liturgical Feast of Saint George Preca 31 May: Holy Trinity in Marsa 22 May: Saint Rita in Valletta 24 May: The Annunciation in Tarxien 24 May: Saint Paul in Munxar, Gozo 2 June: Our Lady of Fatima in Pietà, Malta 24 May: Saint Joseph in Għaxaq 31 May: Saint Anthony of Padua in Birkirkara Second Sunday of May: Mother's Day June by the Maltese is known as'ix-xahar tad-dris, tal-ħġejjeġ, tal-Imnarja, u tal-Qalb ta' Ġesù'. First Sunday of June: Saint Joseph in Għaxaq 21 June: Christ the Redeemer in Senglea 14 June: Saint Philip in Żebbuġ, Malta 14 June: Corpus Christi in Għasri.
5 July: The Visitation in Għarb, Gozo.
Charles François de Mondion
Charles François de Mondion was a French architect and military engineer, active in Malta in the early 18th century. He was a member of the Order of Saint John. Mondion was born in Paris, he studied military engineering under Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, he first arrived in Malta in 1715 during the magistracy of Grand Master Ramon Perellos y Roccaful of the Order of St. John, his early work was as deputy to the military engineer René Jacob de Tigné. One of his early works was the second Marsalforn Tower. Mondion was admitted into the Order of St. John as a Cavaliere di Grazia, he obtained permanent residency in Malta. Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena's accession in June 1722 created a significant opportunity for Mondion, as the new Prince of Malta decided to unleash an ambitious building programme. On 3 November 1722, Vilhena issued orders for the restoration of the former capital Mdina and its fortifications, entrusted de Mondion with this renovation. Mondion designed a number of Baroque buildings in the city, including the Main Gate, the portal of Greeks Gate, the Torre dello Standardo, Palazzo Vilhena, the Banca Giuratale and the Corte Capitanale.
Mondion was involved in the construction or modifications of the Floriana Lines, Fort Manoel, the fortifications of Birgu and the Santa Margherita Lines. He designed several gates within these fortifications, including Porte des Bombes and St. Helen's Gate, his unexpected death in 1733 cut short a promising career. Mondion was buried in the crypt of the Fort Manoel chapel dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua. Buildings designed by Mondion
Malta known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Italy, 284 km east of Tunisia, 333 km north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2, Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country, its capital is Valletta, the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.2 The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union. Malta has been inhabited since 5900 BC, its location in the centre of the Mediterranean has given it great strategic importance as a naval base, with a succession of powers having contested and ruled the islands, including the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Greeks, Normans, Knights of St. John and British. Most of these foreign influences have left some sort of mark on the country's ancient culture. Malta became a British colony in 1815, serving as a way station for ships and the headquarters for the British Mediterranean Fleet.
It played an important role in the Allied war effort during the Second World War, was subsequently awarded the George Cross for its bravery in the face of an Axis siege, the George Cross appears on Malta's national flag. The British Parliament passed the Malta Independence Act in 1964, giving Malta independence from the United Kingdom as the State of Malta, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and queen; the country became a republic in 1974. It has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations since independence, joined the European Union in 2004. Malta has a long Christian legacy and its Archdiocese is claimed to be an apostolic see because Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked on "Melita", according to Acts of the Apostles, now taken to be Malta. While Catholicism is the official religion in Malta, Article 40 of the Constitution states that "all persons in Malta shall have full freedom of conscience and enjoy the free exercise of their respective mode of religious worship."Malta is a popular tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, architectural and historical monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni and seven megalithic temples which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.
The origin of the name Malta is uncertain, the modern-day variation is derived from the Maltese language. The most common etymology is that the word Malta is derived from the Greek word μέλι, meli, "honey"; the ancient Greeks called the island Μελίτη meaning "honey-sweet" for Malta's unique production of honey. The Romans called the island Melita, which can be considered either a latinisation of the Greek Μελίτη or the adaptation of the Doric Greek pronunciation of the same word Μελίτα; this spelling is found in the New Testament. Another conjecture suggests that the word Malta comes from the Phoenician word Maleth, "a haven", or'port' in reference to Malta's many bays and coves. Few other etymological mentions appear in classical literature, with the term Malta appearing in its present form in the Antonine Itinerary. Malta has been inhabited from around 5900 BC, since the arrival of settlers from the island of Sicily. A significant prehistoric Neolithic culture marked by Megalithic structures, which date back to c. 3600 BC, existed on the islands, as evidenced by the temples of Mnajdra and others.
The Phoenicians colonised Malta between 800 -- 700 BC, bringing their Semitic culture. They used the islands as an outpost from which they expanded sea explorations and trade in the Mediterranean until their successors, the Carthaginians, were ousted by the Romans in 216 BC with the help of the Maltese inhabitants, under whom Malta became a municipium. After a period of Byzantine rule and a probable sack by the Vandals, the islands were invaded by the Aghlabids in AD 870; the fate of the population after the Arab invasion is unclear but it seems the islands may have been depopulated and were to have been repopulated in the beginning of the second millennium by settlers from Arab-ruled Sicily who spoke Siculo-Arabic. The Muslim rule was ended by the Normans who conquered the island in 1091; the islands were re-Christianised by 1249. The islands were part of the Kingdom of Sicily until 1530, were controlled by the Capetian House of Anjou. In 1530 Charles I of Spain gave the Maltese islands to the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in perpetual lease.
The French under Napoleon took hold of the Maltese islands in 1798, although with the aid of the British the Maltese were able to oust French control two years later. The inhabitants subsequently asked Britain to assume sovereignty over the islands under the conditions laid out in a Declaration of Rights, stating that "his Majesty has no right to cede these Islands to any power...if he chooses to withdraw his protection, abandon his sovereignty, the right of electing another sovereign, or of the governing of these Islands, belongs to us, the inhabitants and aborigines alone, without control." As part of the Treaty of Paris in 1814, Malta became a British colony rejecting an attempted integration with the United Kingdom in 1956. Malta became independent on 21 September 1964. Under its 1964 constitution
Fleur-de-Lys is a suburb that forms part of Birkirkara, it is considered a suburb of Santa Venera and Qormi. It lies 5 kilometers away from Malta's capital, Valletta; the population of Fleur-de-Lys is about 2000 people and the area is small. Fleur-de-Lys' origins date back to the early 17th century. In 1610, Grandmaster Alof de Wignacourt financed the building of the Wignacourt Aqueduct to transport water from springs in Rabat and Dingli to the capital Valletta; the Aqueduct was finished in 1615, an ornamental gateway known as the Wignacourt Arch was built where it crossed the road. This had three sculpted fleurs-de-lis on top; the suburb was named after these heraldic symbols on the arch. During the Second World War, the archway was damaged when it was hit by an RAF lorry in 1943 and a truck in 1944; the ruined archway was demolished and the stones were stored and numbered at the Public Works Department. A roundabout was built in its place. Plans for reconstructing the arch were made a number of times, before being approved in 2012.
The local councils of Santa Venera and Birkirkara, as well as the Fleur-de-Lys Administrative Committee disagreed on what the arch's name should be, agreed in 2014 that it should be called "The Wignacourt Arch Known As The Fleur-de-Lys Gate". The arch was rebuilt between 2014 and 2015, it was inaugurated on 28 April 2016. After the building of the aqueduct, a number of farmers settled in the area. For many years the only buildings were a few farmhouses surrounded by a lot of fields. In 1928, Farsons Brewery was opened in Mrieħel, an area close to Fleur-de-Lys. Fleur-de-Lys only began to develop in the Second World War. Many refugees from the Grand Harbour area fled to rural areas including Fleur-de-Lys after the Harbour area was devastated by bombs. By 1941 the British had built Fleur de Lys Battery in the area armed with anti-aircraft artillery. Various government offices were transferred to Fleur-de-Lys in the 1940s as well. After the war the area grew into a small suburb. In 1946, the church dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel was inaugurated.
It became autonomous from Santa Venera in 1949 and became a parish in 1975. Other chapels were built in Fleur-de-Lys, including those in the Sisters of the Sacred Heart Convent and the one in the private school of St Monica. Nowadays the suburb contains a small parish church and a BOV bank; the main road, Fleur-de-Lys Road, is now a major artery to Malta's local traffic system. The Fleur-de-Lys Administrative Committee was created in December 1999 by an amendment to the Local Councils Act of 1993
Ħamrun is a town in the Southern Region of Malta, with a population of 9,244 as of March 2014. The townspeople are traditionally known as Ta' Werwer; this appellation could stem from the fact that a considerable number of Ħamruniżi used to work as stevedores on the docks and thus carried a knife at all times. Another theory was that the community of Sicilians who settled here illegally in the 16th century danced a traditional dance which involved the wielding of small stilettos which they carried in their socks, waving them in the air and back to their sheaths. San Ġorġ Preca although born in Valletta, lived most of his life in Ħamrun, he is buried in a Chapel in Ħamrun. It is the home town of former Prime Minister Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici and of Presidents Anton Buttigieg and Guido de Marco; the founder of the Malta Workers' Union, Salvino Spiteri, was lived here. Ħamrun gave birth to several important men of letters. Notable persons from Ħamrun are the actor and lyrical singer Oreste Kirkop, remembered for his role in The Vagabond King, Maltese poet and theatre director Mario Azzopardi, who has a strong reputation for introducing new, radical poetry in Malta in the Sixties and who became the artistic director of the Malta Drama Centre.
Josephine Zammit Cordina is a well-known TV personality. She is associated with Australia being the presenter of the Radio Programme "Boomerang" and TV programme "Waltzing Matilda", she was honoured by the Government of Australia. Il-Kavallier tal-Irkotta. Joe Zammit Cordina was a well-known actor and TV personality, he took part in a number of International Films in minor character roles. The Airport scene in "Midnight Express" is well remembered, he was Mayor of Ħamrun. Another modern poet, Victor Fenech, involved for many years as a drama critic hails from Ħamrun. From the romantic school of literature one should mention Rev. Frans Camilleri born in this town. Ħamrun gave birth to film director Mario Philip Azzopardi, not to be confused with Mario Azzopardi the poet and drama animator. Mario Philip has many commercial film titles and TV serials to his credit; the other Mario Azzopardi is a well-known poet and animator, accredited with introducing new forms of literature to the island. Joseph Buttigieg, distinguished literary scholar at the University of Notre Dame and father of South Bend, Indiana mayor and United States presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, was born in Ħamrun.
Ħamrun is the home town of playwright Oreste Calleja, an acclaimed author who wrote important new-genre plays in the native language. Ħamrun has been the home for a number of years of Bjorn Formosa M. Q. R, the ALS Malta founder, who in 2017 was honoured with Ġieħ il-Ħamrun. Due to the prominence of the St. Cajetan Parish Church, many residents carry the name of the patron saint in Maltese or in Italian. Ħamrun is becoming a cultural melting pot in culinary terms. Ħamrun organises an annual chocolate festival where chocolatiers from all Malta demonstrate their artistry. Cuisines available in Ħamrun, apart from the contemporary local one, such as an art-deco café, include Turkish cuisine, Afghan cuisine, West African cuisine, Syrian cuisine and Italian cuisine. Our Lady of Atoċja Chapel is the oldest chapel in Ħamrun, it was built in the early 17th century by a merchant trader who brought the painting of the Madonna from Atocha in Spain. The people from Ħamrun refer to it as Tas-Samra. During the French blockade of 1798–1800, Maltese insurgents built a battery near the chapel.
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church is the Motherhouse of the Society of Christian Doctrine founded by Saint George Preca. In fact, he was buried in the crypt of the Church. On a Wednesday, in Passiontide, a Procession of Christ the Redeemer walks through "Strada Rjali"; the Procession starts adjacent to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church and ends when the Statue of Jesus Christ is inside Saint Cajetan Sanctuary. The procession is accompanied by the 1st Ħamrun Scout Group; the Chapel of Porto Salvo was built in 1736 and it was conceived as a village chapel. It is built in the Baroque Style. Today the chapel is used for the adoration of the Holy Eucharist; the local refer to the chapel as Ta' Santu Nuzzo. Immaculate Conception Parish Church was built in the 1960s to cater for the large population of Ħamrun. In architectural terms the church has a plain and neat design. In 1973 it became the first parish to receive the Neocatechumenal Way, from where it spread to another 26 parishes in the Maltese Islands.
The Neocatechumenal Way is present in St. Cajetan Parish. Together these two parishes have 13'communities' with around 450 members. St. Francis of Assisi Church was built in the 1950s by the Franciscan Community to cater for the local community. St. Cajetan Parish Church was built in the latter half of the 19th century, it was intended to name the church for St. Joseph however Bishop Gaetano Pace Forno wanted to name the church after his patron saint; the church is built in a Neo-Gothic style. Its interior was painted by Emvin Cremona; the statue of Saint Cajetan was done by Carlo Darmanin. The Patron Saints of Ħamrun are the Immaculate Conception and Saint Joseph. Saint Cajetan's feast is celebrated on the first Sunday after 7 August
Religion in Malta
The predominant religion in Malta is that of the Catholic Church. The Constitution of Malta establishes Catholicism as the state religion and it is reflected in various elements of Maltese culture. However, in recent years the church has experienced rapid decline in importance. According to a 2018 survey, the overwhelming majority of the Maltese population adheres to Christianity with Catholicism as the main denomination. According to the same report, 4.5% of the population declared themselves as either atheist or agnostic, one of the lowest figures in Europe. Malta's patron saints are St Publius and St Agatha; the Assumption of Mary known as Santa Marija is the Special patron of the Maltese Islands. Article 2 of the Constitution of Malta states that the religion of Malta is the "Roman Catholic apostolic religion", that the authorities of the Catholic Church have the duty and the right to teach which principles are right and wrong and that religious teaching of the Catholic apostolic faith shall be provided in all state schools as part of compulsory education.
Malta, a signatory to the Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights, made a declaration saying that it accepts the protocol's article 2 only insofar "as it is compatible with the provision of efficient instruction and training, the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, having regard to the fact that the population of Malta is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic". However, article 2 and of the Constitution are not entrenched, unlike article 40 which guarantees full freedom of conscience and of religious worship and bars the requirement of religious instruction or to show proficiency in religion; this means that if the provisions of article 2 and are in conflict with the rights guaranteed under article 40, the provisions of the latter prevail. With regards to religious instruction in public schools for example, students may opt to decline participation in Catholic religious lessons. Malta supported Italy and was one of ten states presenting written observations when the case Lautsi v. Italy was to be heard by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights over the exhibiting of the crucifix in classrooms.
Malta was the last European country to introduce divorce in October 2011 after voting in a referendum on the subject earlier in the year. Furthermore, Malta has repealed vilification of religion as a crime in July 2016. Abortion is illegal in all circumstances. Over the years some loopholes permitted individuals to circumvent the ban for limited time periods. According to a Eurobarometer Poll held in 2005, 95% of Maltese responded that they "believe there is a God", 3% responded that they "believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 1% responded that they "don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force", the lowest percentage of non-believers in all countries surveyed together with Turkey and Poland. 1% gave no response. In a report published in 2006, it was reported that 52.6% of Maltese attended Sunday mass in 2005, down from 75.1% in 1982 and 63.4% in 1995. Hence, Sunday mass attendance has dropped annually by 1% since 1982. According to Archbishop Charles Scicluna, Sunday mass attendance dropped further to 40% by 2015.
The 2017 census revealed that 36.1% of the catholic population attended mass on the census day, over the course of a weekend in December 2017, a drastic decline compared to previous years. Church weddings have declined since 2010, with a rapid increase in civil weddings. In 2010 a total of 1,547 church weddings and 740 civil weddings were registered; however in 2018, church weddings declined to 1,129 while civil weddings increased to 1,423. The number of students who opt out of studying religions knowledge in schools has increased. In 2014 an ethics class was created for those who choose not to attend school religion lessons, which as yet are still part of the curriculum. In 2014, there was a total of 1,411 students who opted out of religions lessons while in 2019 the number increased to 3,422, an increase of 142%. According to a survey carried out in 2018, around 63.7% of the Maltese population considered themselves as practicing members of their religion. Zghazagh Azzjoni Kattolika: Catholic children and youth organization, member of Fimcap Pope John Paul II made three pastoral visits to Malta: twice in 1990 and once in 2001.
In his last visit he beatified three Maltese people: Nazju Falzon and Adeodata Pisani. In April 2010, Pope Benedict XVI visited Malta in the celebration of the anniversary of 1950 years of the shipwreck of Paul in Malta; the Anglican church in Malta has two parish churches, St Paul's and Trinity, one chaplaincy which covers all of Gozo. The parishes are part of the Diocese in Europe of the Church of England. There are around 300 active Anglicans in Malta however the inactive Anglican population is higher. There is a Presbyterian congregation which united with the Methodist congregation in 1975 and today worship as one congregation in St Andrew's; the Presbyterian congregation is part of the International Presbytery of the Church of Scotland. A Lutheran congregation made up of Germans and Scandinavians, worship in St Andrew's Church as well though as a separate congregation; the Bible Baptist Church caters to the Baptists congregation in Malta. The Evangelical Alliance of Malta has seven churches and two organisations that are affi
Old Church of Santa Venera
The Old Church of Santa Venera is a Roman Catholic church in Santa Venera, dedicated to saint of the same name. It was built between 1688 on a site of a 15th-century church, it was the town's parish church from 1918 to 1989, when the parish was transferred to the new Santa Venera Parish Church. The first church which stood on the site was built in 1473, it was enlarged in 1500, it was rebuilt between 1658 and 1688. The present configuration of the building dates back to the 19th century; the church was given to the Carmelites on 12 December 1912, it became a parish church on 4 September 1918. It is located adjacent to a school; the church became too small to cater for the town's growing population by the mid-20th century, so a storeroom in Château Lonz began to be used as a temporary church in 1947, a new parish church began to be built in 1954. The old church remained the parish church until 3 December 1989, while the new church building was still incomplete. In 2017, when some paintings were removed to be sent for restoration and Rococo frescoes believed to date back to the 17th century were discovered on the walls.
The church building is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. The altarpiece is attributed to Stefano Erardi; the church contains a number of paintings by the school of Mattia Preti and by the Maltese artist Giuseppe Calì. Media related to Old Parish Church of Santa Venera at Wikimedia Commons