Sette Giugno (from Italian for “Seventh of June”) is a Maltese national holiday which commemorates events which occurred on the 7th June 1919. The incident is now remembered as a day when Maltese nationalism first surfaced during the British Colonial period. This followed a series of riots by the Maltese population when the British troops fired into the crowd, killing four.
In Malta we every year the 7th of June is a public Holiday, and seen as the first step towards Maltese Independence. We celebrate this day in many different ways:
Attend the commemoration of the 1919 Riot held at St. George’s Square in Valletta or a similar event held in Xaghra (Gozo), which is followed up by a ceremony where wreaths are laid over a Sette Giugno monument. You may also wish to attend the commemorative mass held in the Basilica of Our Lady of Victories, also in Xaghra (Gozo )
Visit Addolorata Cemetery just a few miles from Valletta near the village of Paola. Here, the four who died during the 1919 Riots are buried, having been moved to their present tomb in 1924. There are also graves of those who died in World War I and World War II.
Tour the National Library of Malta, the Biblijoteka, in Republic Square in Valletta. It houses historical documents that make it seem almost a museum of Maltese history and has an extensive collection of writings of Maltese authors.
Maltese keep Sette Giugno every year as an occasion for remembering the fallen and reflecting on their history and identity as a distinct people. Everybody can join in these exciting events as well as different type of everyday activity. However, as Sette Giugno is a national holiday, be aware that banks as well as many shops will be closed! Tourist areas should be more open, but restaurants are generally not affected, and the beach will be beautiful.