Reconstruction of fighting on Liberation Day


Holiday: Liberation Day.
When? On March 3.
Where? Bulgaria.

The meaning and history. This national holiday honours the Bulgarian volunteers who liberated Bulgaria from almost 500 years from Ottoman rule. It happened during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) with the assistance of Russian and Romanian forces. March 3 is the date when the San Stefano peace treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire was signed.


Extremely fierce battles took place in several areas in Bulgaria. One was at Shipka Peak in the Balkan Mountains. According to history, after the Bulgarian soldiers had no more ammunition, they started throwing stones, pieces of wood and even dead bodies. This defense quite embarrassed the Turkish army.


How it is celebrated. “National Day of Bulgaria is very important for me and for all my fellow citizens”, Miglena Grigorova, who moved to Villach from Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, says. She says that Bulgarians do a  reconstruction of the fighting at Shipka Peak, involving many people. The atmosphere is really unique. “Since last year, in my city (town, which was burned to the ground), a procession with 300 meters long national flag is organized. It passes through the city, and people are putting flowers on the very famous monument - Samara flag”.


At the end of the day beautiful fireworks start, the biggest one is in front of the building of the Parliament in Sofia. A firework show is expected by all Bulgarians.


Different ceremonies, concerts, sports events are held in all the cities across the country.


Family traditions. Miglena Grigorova is new in Villach. She has worked as a welding engineer for more than 11 years and really likes what she’s doing. She has been only a month and a half in Austria. “I received a job offer and decided that this is a new development opportunity for me”, she explains. “My family stayed in Bulgaria. I have two boys, 4 and 8 years old. Of course, they will join me soon”.


Traditions are important for Miglena. That’s why she decided to prepare some of Bulgarian national dish on Liberation Day as a treat for colleagues.



Text: Vita Vitrenko, Photos provided by Miglena Grigorova.