Liberation Day in Bulgaria

Liberation Day is a holiday that’s observed annually on March 3rd in Bulgaria and goes by the official holiday name of the Bulgarian Day of Liberation from the Ottoman Empire. As the name states, this is a holiday that honors all of those who helped to liberate Bulgaria from almost five centuries of Ottoman Rule.

This is a holiday that’s marked by observances and celebrations all across Bulgaria. These celebrations include everything from reenactments of famous battles to church services to memorial services of fallen soldiers—particularly those at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

The History Of Liberation Day In Bulgaria

In 1396, Bulgaria became a part of the Ottoman Empire and would remain one until the 19th century. In April of 1876, uprisings began to spread across the entire Ottoman Empire, and before long, unrest had come to Bulgaria. Suppression of the revolts not only didn’t suppress the uprisings as the Ottoman Empire had hoped, but it also led to Russia declaring war on them in April of 1877.

On March 3, 1878, the Treaty of San Stefano was signed. This treaty ended the war between the Ottoman Empire and Russia and made Bulgaria an independent state—although it still served as a state under the Ottoman Empire. March 3rd would become the date on which Liberation Day would be served every year from then on.

Fast Facts About Bulgaria

Below are some fast facts about Bulgaria to consider while celebrating Liberation Day.

  • Bulgaria was established in 681 AD.
  • Bulgaria is the only country in Europe that hasn’t changed its name since its formation.
  • Approximately a third of Bulgaria is forested.
  • Bulgaria is home to 9 UNESCO sites.

Observing Liberation Day In Bulgaria

One of the main celebrations for this holiday in Bulgaria is in the Shipka Pass in the Balkan Mountains. That’s because a key battle was held at that location. All across Bulgaria, there are also battle reenactments, wreath-laying services, and church services.

Where is it celebrated?
Bulgaria (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2023)
March 3 Friday
Next year (2024)
March 3 Sunday
Last year (2022)
March 3 Thursday