Photo: Andrea Castelli
Let’s not waste time beating around the bush – if you’re bored of work or desperately counting down the days till school’s out, we have the perfect list for you. These are all the public holidays Malta gets to enjoy, and a reason behind why you get the day off.
Friday 10th February: St. Paul’s Shipwreck
The first public holiday of 2017 is also the first of many long weekends, so with a start like this, it can’t possibly be a bad year.
Sunday 19th March: St. Joseph’s Day
The main festivities during the weekend will take place in Rabat, and with March normally giving way to some nicer weather, you’ll probably want to make a day of it.
Friday 31st March: Freedom Day
Can you imagine a better way to celebrate Freedom Day than getting Friday off? We didn’t think so.
You’ve earned your freedom, do with this day as you will.
Friday 14th April: Good Friday
Sunday 16th April: Easter Sunday
If you’d like to celebrate the original meaning of this day, there are countless solemn festivities in the beautiful and small villages around the island.
If you’re not one for religious tradition, we can all agree that Easter Sunday is gorge-yourself-on-sweets-day.
Monday 1st May: Worker’s Day
There are a lot of ways the country can acknowledge its hard workers, and a public holiday on a Monday is perhaps the best possible way.
Make the most of this day and the fact that the weather would’ve started getting warmer by spending the whole Monday out of the house. Go on a road trip, a picnic with your loved ones, or if you want to show people how brave you are, the first swim of 2017!
Wednesday 7th June: Sette Giugno
Commemorating the mass protests and eventual killing of rioters in 1919, Sette Giugno in 2017 will be the perfect midweek break.
And seeing as it’ll be the first week of June, you really have no excuse to go to the beach this time. So get working on your summer body; the countdown has officially started!
Thursday 29th June: L-Imnarja / Feast of St. Peter & St. Paul
An ancient harvest festival set to date back to the Roman period, Imnarja has also more recently been given the Roman Catholic treatment by also adding public holiday bros Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
One of the coolest things you can do on the day is check out the festivities in Rabat, like the horse races in the beautiful countryside.
Thursday 15th August: Assumption Day
One of the most important (read: eagerly awaited) public holidays in the country, this is Malta’s answer to Ferragosto, with the exact same amount of commotion in certain parts of the islands (read: Gozo).
If you don’t want to join the 98% of the country in its mad scramble up to the sister island, we recommend heading as far away as possible from all of it and visiting one of the beautiful villages in the south of Malta, like Marsaxlokk.
Friday 8th September: Victory Day
Also known as Our Lady of Victories, this national holiday celebrates the end of the Great Siege of Malta in 1565 (and the end of summer for many).
Make the most of yet another long weekend by either going up to Gozo now and avoiding the rush of 15th August, or go sunbathing and swimming one last time before we slowly but inevitably start gearing up for school and Christmas all over again.
Alternatively, head on down to Valletta or any one of the Three Cities to watch some good old traditional boat racing at the regatta.
Thursday 21st September: Independence Day
Malta gained its independence from what was left of the British Empire in 1964, but more than five decades later, we still make sure to celebrate this with a big do on the 21st of September.
There will probably be a couple of parties on Wednesday to celebrate a midweek eve of a public holiday party, and seeing as the day also coincides with the first day of autumn, this is shaping up to be another great calendar day.
Friday 8th December: Immaculate Conception
Oh man, another public holiday, another long weekend!
One of the best places to celebrate this important day for the Catholic Church is in Bormla, where the typical festa feel that would’ve been going for a whole summer gets a bit of a wintery touch. Don’t worry though – gallons of alcohol and tons of fireworks will still be present.
Wednesday 13th December: Republic Day
Fresh off the heals of the Immaculate Conception the weekend before, Republic Day 2017 is going to make for another great (short) week worth of work.
This year will mark the 43rd year since Malta got to the final step in the creation of its political autonomy, and is normally the perfect excuse to carry on the festive mood of mid-December and have yet another reason to eat, drink, be merry and build a body you’ll regret in a couple of weeks.
Monday 25th December: Christmas Day
It’s that time of the year again, already?!
Monday might not be the best day of the week, so knowing that we’ll be waking up to presents and enough food to stuff a horse (or five) on the last Monday of 2017 is a pretty comforting thought to get us through the year together!