Republic Day is a public holiday in Malta celebrated on December 13.
It commemorates the establishment of Malta as a republic in 1974.
In 1814, Malta became part of the British Empire.
After the opening of the Suez Canal, it became an important stop on the way to India.
During the Second World War, Malta was very important due to its proximity to the Axis shipping lanes.
Malta became an independent state in 1964, following intense negotiations with the UK.
It achieved independence as a Commonwealth realm.
This meant that Malta retained the British monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) as its head of state.
In 1971, the Malta Labour Party won the election and began promoting the idea of transforming Malta into a republic.
On December 13, 1974, the country's constitution was substantially revised.
Malta became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations.