Malta, officially the Republic of Malta, is a small and densely populated island nation comprising an archipelago of seven islands in the Mediterranean Sea. A country of Southern Europe, Malta lies south of Sicily, east of Tunisia, and north of Libya. Maltese and English are the country’s official languages..
Malta is a small country but it has a long and rich history. The evidences show its existence even in the Neolithic era (4th millennium B.C.). Some the world’s most ancient standing buildings (the Neolithic temples) still exist in Malta. Its strategic location and good harbors in the middle of the Mediterannean have been the attractions for the ruling empires like Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Crusaders, the French and finally the British to make Malta their colong. The colonial period ended in 1964.
Malta was taken over by the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in 1530. They had built a hospital at Birgu to care for the sick during their rule.Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Suleiman the Magnificent besieged Malta with a fleet of 180 ships and a landing force of 30,000 men in 1565. In response the Order was successful in driving the Ottoman Turks away after a hard siege of several months.
In 1798, Malta was taken over by the French under Napoleon without resistance. Realizing the fact that the island could not be defended against the opposing French naval force, the Grand Master of the Order surrendered. French ruled Malta only for 2 years as they had to surrender to the British Royal Navy, under Admiral Nelson’s command, in September 1800.
Malta was formally in possession of Great Britain in 1814.The island was the staunch supporter of the UK through both World Wars. For its heroic resistance during the Second World War, the island was awarded the George Cross. An image of the cross is displayed on the flag. The colors on the flag are red and white. These colors represent the Order of St. John.
Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean Sea (in its eastern basin). It is located some 93 km south of the Italian island of Sicily across the Malta Channel; east of Tunisia and north of Libya in Africa. Only the three largest islands are inhabited. These are Malta Island (Malta), Gozo (Ghawdex), and Comino (Kemmuna) The smaller islands, such as Filfla, Cominotto and the Islands of St. Paul are uninhabited. There are numerous bays along the indented coastline of the islands which provide good harbours. The landscape is characterised by low hills with terraced fields. Malta has no permanent rivers or lakes but there are some small rivers at times of high rainfall.
The Climate of Malta is Mediterranean temperate climate with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Malta has only two seasons.During the drier months, the islands have great attraction for tourists. Malta has the honor of being chosen as the country with the best climate in the world by International Living in January 2007.
The Malta Fireworks Festival – 2007 The Ministry for Tourism and Culture in association with the Malta Tourism Authority will present the second edition of the Malta International Fireworks Festival following the success of the previous four editions of the Malta Fireworks Festival held in Grand Harbour.
This wonderful festival is a showcase of the best pyrotechnical displays produced not only by Maltese enthusiasts, whose craft derives from hundreds of years of experience in the field, but also by internationally acclaimed pyrotechnic firms. This is indeed a spectacular event and it provides immense delight to all those attending this event. The festival will be held at the Grand Harbour in Valletta on the 29th and 30th April 2007.This event will also commemorate the 3rd anniversary of Malta’s entry into the European Union.
Today, the Maletese music is largely western. “Ghana” (pronounced as aana) is the traditional Maltese music. This consists of background folk guitar music, while two or three persons take it in turns to argue a point in a melodic voice. Other Maltese music is folk music with emphasis on guitar and tambourine; instrumental music is called daqqaqa. Wind band music are also popular at each annual village or town festival (festa).
In Guardia Parade
Te Ministry for Tourism & Culture stages the re-enactment of historical military parades at Fort St. Elmo in Valletta, titled In Guardia throughout the year. Its origin dates back to the times of the Knights of St. John. Around 70 officers and men-at-arms accoutred in period costume will perform a series of military drills in the fort’s “Place-of-Arms” during these parades.
Alarme Alarme! is a show that reminds a series of military encounters between French and Maltese troops during the blockade of 1798 – 1800. The Historical Re-enactment Group of Malta stages this show at Fort St. Elmo in Valletta and the Ministry for Tourism & Culture is the organizer of this show.
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