Racing, Regattas and Religious Events
Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean, just south of Italy, Malta attracts crowds of tourists every year looking to indulge in the island’s idyllic weather, crystal clear waters, vibrant nightlife and dining. While an abundance of Mediterranean restaurants and Malta bars guarantees a relaxing retreat, many travellers are now searching for something more, craving novel experiences and exciting events. Victoria Day, known locally as Il Vitorja, is the perfect antidote to these travelling woes. Transforming the Maltese islands into a thriving hub of historical celebrations, religious events and a competitive regatta, a trip to Malta during Victory Day will offer a travelling experience like no other.
Held annually on the 8th of September, Victory day stands as one of the most important national holidays in Malta. With its dedication to the feast of the Virgin Mary, the Great Siege of Malta (1565) and the Italian navy’s surrender of Malta (1943), there are plenty of reasons to celebrate! In small towns and villages such as Senglea, Naxxar, Mellieha, Xaghra and Gozo, church services, speeches and military bands are all dedicated to the festival, extolling a sense of pride around the Maltese islands.
In jubilant celebration, Malta hosts a series of exciting cultural events which travellers can participate in to embrace the local history of the island. In the morning, wreaths are laid upon the Fort of St Angelos in Bigu. Lying at the heart of the Maltese people, this Roman fortification played a central role in Malta’s victory during the Great Seige. However, the most prominent event undoubtedly takes place in the afternoon – the enthralling regatta race. Commencing at around 2pm, this colourful boating event draws crowds of buzzing spectators to the Grand Harbour each year. Dating back to 1642, this event oversees six neighbouring towns compete in a mile long race from Marsa to Valetta, Malta’s capital city.
At night, the Valetta waterfront transforms into a lively centre of activity. Victory Day revellers can enjoy an extensive program of music, theatre and the arts, breathing new life into Valetta’s Manoel Theatre and St James Cavalier art centre.
With this plethora of cultural events spreading across the Maltese islands, finding accommodation here won’t be a problem. Situated in the Xaghra village, abundant with Victory Day festivities, are Abraham’s farmhouses boasting a dazzling array of their own amenities. However, those looking for Malta accommodation with a more lavish feel may prefer the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz. Situated in Gozo, the Kempinski Hotel boasts its own seclusion whilst remaining suitably close to the core of the Victory Day action.
With racing, a regatta, historical and religious events, what more could you need for a truly unique and unforgettable travel experience than Malta?