Bulgarian Liberation Day

Bulgarian Liberation Day, celebrated annually on March 3rd, commemorates the country’s liberation from nearly 500 years of Ottoman rule. This significant event is marked by various ceremonies and festivities across the nation, honoring the sacrifices made during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) that ultimately led to Bulgaria’s independence.

The Historical Significance:

The Treaty of San Stefano, signed on March 3, 1878, officially recognized Bulgaria as an independent state, marking the culmination of the struggle for freedom. This day holds immense significance for Bulgarians, symbolizing not only their liberation from Ottoman rule but also the restoration of their national identity and cultural heritage.


  • Wreath-laying ceremonies: Paying homage to the fallen heroes is a central aspect of the celebrations. Wreaths are laid at the Shipka Monument, a prominent national landmark commemorating the bravery of Bulgarian and Russian soldiers who fought in the Shipka Pass during the war. Similar ceremonies are held throughout the country, honoring the sacrifices made for Bulgaria’s freedom.
  • Parades and folk festivals: Vibrant parades featuring military personnel and cultural groups are held in major cities, showcasing Bulgarian national pride and unity. Traditional folk music and dance performances add to the festive atmosphere.
  • Family gatherings: Many Bulgarians celebrate Liberation Day with family and friends, often enjoying traditional meals and sharing stories about their heritage.


Bulgarian Liberation Day serves as a powerful reminder of the nation’s rich history and the sacrifices made for its independence. It is a day to celebrate freedom, national identity, and the enduring spirit of the Bulgarian people.

Bulgarian Liberation Day 2024

Bulgarian Liberation Day is celebrated annually on March 3rd. This year, 2024, it falls on a Sunday.

It is a national holiday in Bulgaria that commemorates the country’s liberation from Ottoman rule in 1878, after nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) ultimately led to the signing of the Treaty of San Stefano on March 3, 1878, which formally recognized Bulgaria’s autonomy.

Bulgarian Liberation Day is a day of national pride and celebration in Bulgaria. There are official ceremonies held throughout the country, including wreath-laying ceremonies at monuments dedicated to those who fought for Bulgarian liberation. Many towns and cities also hold parades, concerts, and other cultural events.

Timeline of Events Leading Up to Bulgaria’s Liberation Day (March 3rd)

14th Century: The Bulgarian Empire, established in the 7th century, falls to the Ottoman Empire after a series of wars. Bulgarians face centuries of Ottoman rule.

18th-19th Centuries: The Bulgarian National Revival emerges, a period of cultural and intellectual awakening that fosters a sense of Bulgarian national identity and a desire for independence.

April 24, 1876: The April Uprising, a Bulgarian rebellion against Ottoman rule, erupts in several towns. Ottoman forces brutally suppress the uprising, leading to widespread international condemnation.

April 24, 1877: The Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) begins, with Russia declaring war on the Ottoman Empire in response to the April Uprising and other factors.

July 7, 1877: The Ottomans surrender the Shipka Pass, a strategic mountain pass in Bulgaria, to Russian forces after several months of fierce fighting. This marks a turning point in the war.

March 3, 1878: The Treaty of San Stefano is signed, ending the Russo-Turkish War and recognizing the re-establishment of the Bulgarian state after nearly 500 years of Ottoman rule. This date is celebrated as Bulgaria’s Liberation Day.

June 13, 1878: The Treaty of Berlin revises the Treaty of San Stefano, reducing the size of the newly established Bulgarian state. Despite this, Bulgaria gains significant autonomy from the Ottoman Empire.

April 18, 1879: The Tarnovo Constitution is adopted, establishing the Principality of Bulgaria as a parliamentary monarchy.

March 3, 1880: Alexander of Battenberg is elected Prince of Bulgaria, marking the official start of Bulgarian self-government after centuries of Ottoman rule.

September 18, 1885: Eastern Rumelia, a Bulgarian-populated Ottoman province, unifies with the Principality of Bulgaria in a bloodless coup. This event strengthens the dream of a unified Bulgarian state.

October 5, 1908: Bulgaria declares full independence from the Ottoman Empire, culminating in the long struggle for national liberation.

Bulgarian Liberation Day is a national holiday celebrated on March 3rd every year to commemorate the sacrifices made in the fight for independence and the re-establishment of the Bulgarian state.

Also Read: All World Days

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