Public Holidays in Malta in December and January

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Public Holidays in Malta in December and January

December and January are rather important months in Malta; not only because Christmas is celebrated, but there are religious and national holidays which hold a lot of importance for Malta.

When are the public holidays in Malta in December - Immaculate Conception
Our Lady during the Immaculate Conception

8th December – Immaculate Conception

This is the last out of the three holidays dedicated to Holy Mary throughout the year. In addition, it is one of the holidays in Malta leading up to Christmas. This day celebrates the Catholic belief that Our Lady was free of original sin throughout her life.


Locals typically celebrate by attending Mass as required by the Church, go Christmas shopping, or spend time with their families and friends.

The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Zurrieq, Malta
The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Zurrieq, Malta

13th December – Independence Day

Whilst Malta was still under British Rule, the country was ruled by a monarchy. In 1974, Malta became a Republic, and this day is one out of 5 national holidays. Festivities include an Awards Ceremony by the President of Malta, a wreath laying ceremony near several monuments including the Republic Day monument in Marsa, military parades in both Marsa and Valletta, and the Annual Band Concert at the Manoel Theatre in Valletta.
Republic Day Parade in Valletta

25th December – Christmas Day

Like in many other countries, the 25th of December is considered a public holiday. Malta is particularly known for its religious and social importance of Christmas. People traditionally attend midnight mass, churches hold processions with statues of Jesus, Mary and Joseph throughout the streets, and locals decorate their houses with cribs, Christmas trees and wreaths.

European School of English Malta
Christmas in Valletta
Maltese Christmas Crib
Maltese-style Christmas crib

How else do we celebrate Christmas?


During the festive season, schools organise Christmas plays, groups of people visit hospitals and retirement homes to sing Christmas carols, and many attend the annual Christmas pantomimes that take place. Numerous events take place throughout the islands – read last year’s blog post.

1st January – New Year’s Day

One week after Christmas Day comes New Year’s Day. Many ring in the new year by attending street parties in the capital, paid events across Malta or private parties. On New Year’s Day itself, families gather for lunch, or just sleep in.

For a complete list of public holidays visit our blog post.


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Focus on Fluency
  • Religious (adjective) – relating to or believing in a religious
  • Immaculate (adjective) – free from sin
  • Conception (noun) – the action of conceiving a child or of a person being conceived
  • Original Sin (noun) – the evil a person is born with, based on the story of Adam and Eve
  • Monarchy (noun) – a form of government which has a monarch as the head, such as a queen, king, or emperor
  • Republic (noun) – a state whose power is in the hands of the people, and has a president rather than a monarch
  • Wreath (noun) – an arrangement of flowers or leaves in a circle, often used as decoration or for laying on a grave
  • Cribs (noun) – a model of the Nativity of Christ, which consists of a manger for a bed
  • Pantomimes (noun) – a form of theatre which includes music, jokes and slapstick comedy based on a fairy tale, usually performed at Christmastime
  • Ring in the new year (idiom) – to celebrate the beginning of the new year.