Sette Giugno

Sette Giugno is a national holiday in Malta that is observed on the 7th of June—as people who speak Italian may have guessed, considering that the name of this holiday literally translates to “June 7th.” This holiday commemorates the events that occurred after British troops fired into a riot by Maltese people, killing four and injuring fifty.

This would culminate in resistance to the colonial government and more support for the Italian Irredentist Movement in Malta, which would challenge the British’s continued presence on the island. This holiday was first celebrated on June 7th, 1989, and continues to be an important holiday to this day in Malta.

Historical Background Of Sette Giugno

After WWI, when industry and agriculture were disrupted across the entire continent, the colonial government of Malta failed to provide the basic provisions for the islands. This scarcity and an increased military presence on the island led to the rich getting richer, while most citizens of Malta went without.

This led to civil unrest and a demand for higher wages. In 1919, the National Assembly met to consider a resolution that would mean independence from Great Britain. This was brought forward by the nationalist faction and was opposed to the original resolution.

The second National Assembly was set for June 7th that same year, and the crowd that had been gathering was set in motion when the Union Jack was flown above the A la Ville de Londres flag. The crowd proceeded to break windows, remove the Union Jack wherever they found it, and assault officers and soldiers.

Reinforcements were brought in, and the soldiers ended up shooting into the crowd. Four people were killed, and fifty were injured. This led to the British colonial government being challenged.

Observing Sette Giugno

On this day, there are many different events held to celebrate Maltese history and culture. Some people attend St. George’s Square in Valletta or another event that is held in Xaghra. People also visit Addolorata Cemetery to lay wreaths on graves.

Where is it celebrated?
Malta (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 7 Friday
Next year (2025)
June 7 Saturday
Last year (2023)
June 7 Wednesday