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March 3rd - the National Day of Bulgaria

3/3/2021 8:00:00 AM

What happened on that day and how long has it been celebrated? The San Stefano Peace Treaty between Russia and the Ottoman Empire was signed on February 19th (March 3rd, according to the Gregorian calendar), 1878. It marked the end of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. According to the peace treaty, an autonomous tributary Bulgarian principality was founded, having a Christian government and a people?s militia.

Bulgarian people actively participated in the war. Along with the Bulgarian volunteer corps, lots of armed detachments (having altogether 35,000 participants) came into being during the war. The initiative for the creation of the Independent Bulgarian Volunteer Corps belonged to the Russian General R.A.Fadeev. The Bulgarian volunteers demonstrated incredible courage while defending the Shipka mountain pass (August 9-11th, 1877). Although fighting against the times-larger Ottoman army the volunteers, together with the Russian soldiers, managed to stop Sultan Suleiman?s army from going across the Stara Palnina Mountain into the northern part of Bulgaria. In the end of December 1877, the Bulgarian volunteers participated in the hard battles for Shipka and Sheynovo villages, where the Veysel Pasha?s army was defeated.

March 3rd was celebrated for the first time in 1880. It was declared by the Parliament a National Day of Bulgaria on March 5th, 1990, and has been celebrated as such ever since.

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