Freedom is not just a definition. It is a value, wealth but also quality. Quality to be free – that’s the message of the national heroes that reaches us until today. When speaking about freedom in the mind of a Bulgarian arises the date of 3 March.
What happened on this date and why is so important to us?
The date of 3 March marks the date when the Treaty of San Stefano was signed in 1878.
This peace treaty ended the Russo-Turkish war and was signed between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, which proclaimed Bulgaria as an independent state. It established itself once again as a nation and the country was successfully put back on the world map.
On this day we honor our heroes who died in the war so that we can be free today. Their exploits are bedecked with songs and stories. Monuments and museums were also erected. The cold weather, the heat, the bloody battles at Shipka, the fires in Stara Zagora which has already been burned to the ground more than once, the Valley of the Dead near Pleven will remain in the history and in our national memory forever.
How is Bulgarian Liberation Day celebrated?
This day is declared as a national holiday for all Bulgarians. It is traditionally marked by ceremonies across Bulgaria, particularly in those towns and cities which saw the fiercest fighting in the war.
Shipka pass in the Balkan Mountains is at the center of celebrations marking the key battle that took place there. In Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, there will be public cultural shows, street parades church services, wreath of flowers laying at public monuments such as Liberty Monument at Shipka and a military march to honor those who gave their lives in the war for the faith and the liberation of their motherland – Bulgaria.
How is it celebrated in my hometown – Stara Zagora?
This year, on this day – 3 March, we will celebrate 140 years of the liberation of Bulgaria. Thousands of people will come from different parts of the country to watch and participate in the parade. The 300-meter long national flag will be carried to the Memorial Complex “Defenders of Stara Zagora”, accompanied by the military brass band, which will play all along the route.It will be held for the fourth time and is becoming more popular not only in Stara Zagora, but in the whole country.
Whatever we say about the heroes of the Bulgarian Liberation will not be enough. The thought of them giving their lives for the freedom of Bulgaria is reminiscent of the heroism, courage, but also for high virtue and love for Bulgaria.
Even if all these brave patriots are not among us today, they will forever live in our spirit and memory. The Bulgarian people deserve their freedom.
This is why we are proud of this date, we are proud of our heroes, we are proud of our country, we are proud to be Bulgarians.