Bulgaria's National Liberation Day: Celebrations Across the Nation Await! (FULL LIST)

Culture | March 1, 2024, Friday // 17:21|  views

Photo: Tsvetelina Georgieva

March 3 holds a special place in the hearts of all true Bulgarians!

It marks the day when Bulgaria was liberated from Ottoman rule, a time to reflect on the past and look towards the future, united by our shared history, love for our homeland, and aspirations for progress and prosperity.

March 3 serves as a reminder of the significance of coming together in pursuit of a national ideal, recognizing that only through collective endeavor can we forge a brighter tomorrow.

May this day serve as inspiration for us all to contribute to the ongoing development of a resilient and thriving Bulgaria.

Discover the locations across our nation where celebrations will be held:

Shipka peak

On March 3rd, festivities will commence with a prayer at the Nativity of Christ memorial church in Shipka, led by Metropolitan Cyprian. The official program includes the adoption of the military order, poetic compositions, a requiem prayer for the fallen heroes, and speeches commemorating the National Day. Wreaths and flowers will be laid at the Shipka Monument at 12:00 p.m.

Due to the celebrations, the Gabrovo-Kazanlak road will be closed to motor vehicles from March 2nd, 10 p.m., to March 3rd, 6 p.m. Participants, guests, and citizens with vehicles will follow a one-way route from Kazanlak to Mount Shipka and from Gabrovo to Mount Shipka from 6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 3rd. Parking will be arranged in order of arrival, with the road reopening for return travel after 12:30 p.m.

Law enforcement agencies will enforce restrictions on movement around the Monument area, prohibiting pyrotechnics, firearms, dangerous objects, and drones, except for media drones covering the event.

Free buses will transport attendees from Kazanlak hotels between 7 and 9 a.m. on March 3rd.

Stara Zagora

Once again, Stara Zagora will host celebrations for Bulgaria's national holiday on March 3, 2024, with the traditional procession "For Freedom... Let's wave the Bulgarian flag!". In honor of the 146th anniversary of the Liberation, wreaths and flowers will be laid at monuments dedicated to the Third of March at 10:15 a.m.

The ceremony for hoisting the National Flag of the Republic of Bulgaria will commence at 10:30 a.m. at the square in front of the Stara Zagora Municipality. Following this, the commemorative procession, carrying a 300-meter tricolor flag, will depart at 11:00 a.m. and reach the "Defenders of Stara Zagora" memorial complex by 11:45 a.m. A special musical program, featuring Bulgarian singer Nevena Tsoneva, is scheduled at the complex.

Various events will accompany the holiday celebrations this year. The regional history museum will offer free admission, and exhibitions will be showcased in Stara Zagora's exhibition halls. Additionally, schools and kindergartens will organize their own events to commemorate the National Day. Patriotic songs will be played on public transport buses and trolleybuses.


Silistra will commemorate Bulgaria's 146th liberation anniversary in honor of Hristo Botev and mark the 151st death anniversary of Vasil Levski. The solemn ceremony will take place at Freedom Square at 10:30 a.m., featuring the national flag-raising ritual, a speech by Mayor Alexander Sabanov, and a blessing by Metropolitan Jacob.

The tribute to the heroes will extend with the laying of wreaths and flowers at monuments honoring Stefan Karadzha, Captain Georgi Mamarchev, and Count Leo Tolstoy. Festivities will continue at 11:30 a.m. with a concert celebrating Bulgarian traditions and freedom.

On the Open Day of March 3 cultural institutions will offer free entry to visitors during their operating hours. The Archaeological Museum in Silistra will welcome visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Srebarna Natural History Museum from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and the Art Gallery from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., inviting everyone to explore the city's rich history and culture.


The festivities for Bulgaria's National Day in Varna will kick off with the Divine Liturgy at the "Holy Assumption" Cathedral starting at 9:00 a.m. Following this, at 10:30 a.m., a ceremonial flag-raising ceremony will be held at St. St. Cyril and Methodius Square, followed by a city-wide procession departing from the cathedral at 10:45 a.m.

Throughout the day, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visitors can enjoy free admission to the Naval Museum in Varna in celebration of Bulgaria's National Day. Additionally, starting at 11:00 a.m., the "Share the History" Photo Studio will be open at the Naval Museum, offering printed photos as souvenirs.

In the "Asparuhovo" quarter, festivities will commence at 11:00 a.m. in front of the "Prosveta 1927" elementary school with the program "Awakening with Choro" honoring Bulgaria's National Day.

Finally, the day will conclude with a festive concert titled "Bulgaria - One Covenant" starting at 6:00 p.m. in Hall 1 of the Festival and Congress Center.


From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., visitors can enjoy free admission to the Regional History Museum in celebration of Bulgaria's National Day.

Starting at 11:00 a.m. at Pl. Atanas Sirekov, a ceremony will commence to raise the national flag of Bulgaria, alongside the flags of the European Union and the Municipality of Burgas. Following this, at 11:30 a.m., a solemn event will take place at the Monument to the Russian Liberators, including the laying of wreaths and flowers, accompanied by military honors.

From 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on "Troikata" Square, various themed areas will showcase "The Road to Freedom". Young talents from Burgas will perform from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the stage "I sing to you, Mother Freedom", followed by a Holiday Choir featuring over 20 groups from Burgas Municipality from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. The day's celebrations will culminate with a concert at the Opera starting at 6:00 p.m.

In the evening, starting at 6:00 p.m., the State Opera will host a celebratory concert featuring Veselin Marinov and Nikolina Chakardakova.


Plovdiv will commemorate the 146th anniversary of the Liberation from Ottoman rule and Bulgaria's National Day on March 3 with a series of events. The day will begin with a prayer service at the "Holy Virgin" cathedral church led by Metropolitan Nikolay of Plovdiv, followed by a solemn celebration at the monument to the Russian liberators of Bunardjika. A memorial service for fallen heroes will take place at the Central Cemetery militia monument.

Engineer Lyubozar Fratev, an honorary citizen of Plovdiv, will deliver the official speech, while reciter Hristo Hristov will serve as the presenter. The day's events will include the laying of wreaths and flowers, led by a representative platoon, wreath-bearers, a military brass band, and the "Patriot" committee. Prior to the ceremony, there will be a "March of Freedom" to Bunardjika, accompanied by replicas of Bulgarian militia flags.

The Municipality of Plovdiv will also organize two free concerts for residents and guests. Big Band Plovdiv, conducted by Nikolay Geshev with soloist Edith Unjiyan, will perform at Stefan Stambolov Square, followed by a concert by the Air Force Representative Wind Orchestra, conducted by Capt. Dimitar Hristov. The day will conclude with a solemn inspection at "Centralen" square, featuring military formations from the Plovdiv garrison, with Major General Yavor Mateev delivering the official speech and actor Petar Toskov as the announcer.


The association "Bdintsi" is actively seeking volunteers to participate in a historical reenactment commemorating the liberation of Vidin during the Russo-Turkish war as part of Bulgaria's national holiday celebrations on March 3. Uniforms and authentic weapons will be provided to participants, with the aim of recreating the events vividly for children and younger generations.

Nikolay Yordanov, chairman of the "Bdintsi" association, stated that while 50-60 people are already confirmed to participate, they aim to gather at least 100 volunteers to ensure a memorable event. The association, which boasts 90 historical uniforms and corresponding weapons, collaborates closely with the municipality, museum, and schools to ensure accuracy and realism in the reenactment.

Roles will be assigned carefully to ensure an authentic representation of historical events, with a focus on engaging younger participants. Additionally, individuals with national costumes are encouraged to join the reenactment. Interest in the event has extended beyond Vidin, with Romanian participants from a similar club in Calafat expressing their desire to take part.


In Ruse, celebrations for the city's Liberation Day featured a historical reenactment of General Eduard Totleben's entry into the city in 1878. Organized by the "Tradition" society from Ruse, Razgrad, and Shumen, the event commemorated the historic moment when General Totleben was welcomed with pies and flowers, followed by a festive dance in the square. This reenactment marks a significant milestone in the city's commemoration of its liberation, with similar events first introduced in 2018.

Once more, the Folklore Dance Club Rodolyubets in Ruse is hosting a celebratory Horoteka event slated for March 3, kicking off at 12:30 p.m. right in front of the Ruse Municipality. Embracing the spirit of tradition, attendees are encouraged to don their finest folk attire as they join in what promises to be the city's grandest dance gathering.

Come and be a part of Horoteka, where we aim to create Ruse's lengthiest dance spectacle yet! Don your traditional costumes, grab your wristbands, and get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. We have a special surprise in store for all participants, so let's gather in the square and revel in the enchanting rhythms of Bulgarian culture,” extend the organizers' heartfelt invitation.


The Targovishte Municipality has arranged a series of events to commemorate Bulgaria's National Day and the 146th anniversary of the country's Liberation from Ottoman rule on March 3.

The festivities kick off at 9:30 a.m. with a prayer service at the "St. John of Rila" church, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Borovets Park monument to honor those who sacrificed for freedom. A celebratory procession will then proceed from the monument to the central "Freedom" square, led by the 1st School "Hristo Botev" fanfare orchestra and accompanied by school flag bearers displaying the flags of Bulgaria, the European Union, and Targovishte Municipality.

At 11:00 a.m., a flag-raising ceremony will occur on the stage in front of the local administration, where Mayor Dr. Darin Dimitrov will extend greetings. Musical performances by the "Vasil Abrashev" Wind Orchestra and the "Zlatna Lira" Women's Choir will entertain the crowd.

Following the ceremony, a lively dance, part of the "Let's Catch the Chorus" initiative by the Omaya Folklore Club, will animate the square until around 11:30 a.m.

The festivities will conclude with a grand finale at 7:00 p.m., featuring a festive gathering at Svoboda Square.

Additionally, on the holiday, the Slaveykov School will welcome visitors for free tours from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Moreover, from February 27 to March 20, the "Peter Stupov" Regional Library will host the exhibition "To be free," showcasing historical graphics by Prof. Simeon Halachev from the Nikola Marinov Art Gallery, shedding light on the role of militiamen from the market and Razgrad regions.


On March 3, 2024, Kyustendil will commemorate Bulgaria's Liberation Day with a series of events including the laying of wreaths, a solemn recital, and a festive concert featuring Valya Balkanska.

The celebrations will commence at 11:00 a.m. on Velbazhd Square with the hoisting of the national flag, followed by an official ceremony featuring a solemn recital and the laying of wreaths and flowers at the Bulair monument.

The program will culminate with a festive concert featuring Valya Balkanska and Petar Yanev, promising musical performances to delight both residents and visitors of Kyustendil.


Beginning at 08:30 a.m., a procession will march from "Olimpiyski" square to the Monument honoring those who perished in the wars, accompanied by patriotic melodies and fluttering flags. After paying homage to the fallen, the procession will proceed to Mechi Chal Peak.

At 5:30 p.m., a concert featuring talented performers from the "Rhodopska Iskra 1880" Children's Theater and the Children's Theater Group of the Community Center will commence at "Olimpiyski" Square.

Starting from 6:00 p.m., a solemn program will unfold in celebration of the National Holiday, featuring a military ritual with the participation of the 101st Alpine Regiment - Smolyan.


Beginning at 09:00 a.m., Archimandrite Visarion will lead the Holy Divine Liturgy at the "St. Nicholas" temple in the Ustovo district, followed by a solemn thanksgiving prayer at 10:00 a.m. to honor the Russian liberators who were welcomed 141 years ago in the same church.

At 10:00 a.m., wreaths and flowers will be laid in front of the monuments of Captain Petko the Voivoda and the heroes of Shiroka Laka in commemoration of the Third of March. Subsequently, the traditional Kuker holiday "Pesponedelnik" will commence at 11:00 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m., a festive procession will depart from the "St. Nicholas" church to "Vazrazhdane" square, led by the "Rhodope Outlaws" Association carrying Captain Petko Voivoda's rifle, a symbol of defense during 1878-1879, preserved in the Regional Historical Museum "Stoyu Shishkov" in the town of Smolyan.

Celebrations for the 141st anniversary of Bulgaria's Liberation will continue at 11:00 a.m. with a guard of honor, worship, and the laying of flowers at the Freedom Fighters Monument and the Gen. Pyotr Cherevin Square.


Starting at 11:00 a.m., a military ceremony will be held at "Aleko" Square for the hoisting of the national flag of the Republic of Bulgaria.

At 11:15 a.m., a celebratory procession will commence from "Aleko" Square, extending throughout the city to reach "Svoboda" Square.

Subsequently, at 11:30 a.m., a wreath-laying ceremony will be conducted at the Freedom Monument on Svoboda Square, honoring the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for Bulgaria's Liberation.


At 11:00 a.m., Haskovo Municipality will host a solemn celebration marking 141 years since Bulgaria's Liberation, commencing at "Municipal" square. Following this, at 11:15 a.m., a ceremony for laying flowers and wreaths will be held at the monument of the Unknown Warrior. Later, starting at 11:30 a.m., a concert in support of the global initiative "Awakening with Chorus" will take place on the stage of Svoboda Square. Lastly, at 7:00 p.m., a festive concert by the Chamber Orchestra of Haskovo will be held at the "Ivan Dimov" Theater.


The Regional History Museum and the houses of "Dobri Voynikov", "Laios Kossuth", and "Panayot Volov" will be accessible for visits free of charge from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Bulgaria's National Day.

At 10:15 a.m., a memorial service and prayer for health will be held at the "St. Ascension of the Lord" church to commemorate the National Day.

Starting at 11:00 a.m., the "Vasil Drumev" Drama and Puppet Theater will host a concert titled "Svobodata...Svetata" featuring the folk ensemble "Mizia" from Targovishte.

A fireworks show will occur at Crystal Square in front of the Monument to the Fallen People of Shumen in wars, beginning at 6:30 p.m.


The celebration of Bulgaria's National Day in Yambol will kick off at 09:30 a.m. in front of the Yambol Municipality with a solemn ceremony featuring the raising of the national flag, a thanksgiving prayer, and a festive address by the mayor of Yambol Municipality.

Following that, at 11:30 a.m., the "Bulgarian Roots" concert will commence at the "Bezisten" Cultural and Information Center, performed by the "Dianopolis" Chamber Orchestra. Tsvetomira Gitsova will serve as the soloist, with Ivan Stoyanov conducting.

Later in the day, starting at 1:00 p.m., the Museum of Battle Glory will host a lecture on the topic of "The militiamen from the Yambol region who participated in the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878)".


On March 3rd, starting at 6:00 p.m., the Municipality of Belitsa and the People's Community Center "Georgi Todorov-1885" will host a grand celebration commemorating 146 years since Bulgaria's Liberation from Ottoman rule.

The event will feature a festive concert showcasing performances by the Folklore Ensemble at the People's Community Center "Georgi Todorov 1885," the Folklore Dance Formation at the School "St. St. Cyril and Methodius," and a thematic recital by students at PG "Nikola Vaptsarov" in Belitsa.

At 7:30 p.m., the "Fire of Freedom" will be lit, followed by a ceremonial fireworks display at 7:40 p.m.


At 08:30 a.m., the Bishop's Holy Liturgy for Holy Week will commence at the cathedral "St. Alexander Nevsky", followed by a memorial service and prayer session at 10:00 a.m. in honor of March 3.

From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the National Museum of Military History will host an Open House featuring a special exhibition of artifacts in observance of March 3.

The restored monument to the Russian warrior Pavel Krasov will be unveiled at 11:00 a.m. at the intersection of Pavel Krasov Street and Tsarigradsko Shosse Blvd.

Starting at 11:45 a.m., a solemn celebration of the National Day will commence in front of the Monument to the Bulgarian soldier, organized by the Metropolitan Municipality, the "Heroes of Bulgaria" Foundation, and the Association of Friends of Russia "Alexander Nevsky".

At 1:00 p.m., "Ataka" will pay tribute to the liberation of Bulgaria from Turkish slavery in front of the Monument to Tsar Liberator.

The Regional History Museum-Sofia will celebrate March 3 with a hike to Vitosha’s “Cherni” peak titled "On the Peak of Liberation". After the climb, participants will engage in a discussion about the history of mountaineering on Vitosha and participate in a quiz with prizes offered by the museum.

Charlotte, North Carolina

The Bulgarian school "Vasil Aprilov" in Charlotte has announced a special celebration in honor of Bulgaria's national holiday, March 3. According to a post on Facebook by the school institution, they are inviting students, parents, and fellow Bulgarians residing in Charlotte and the nearby area to join in the festivities and commemorate the holiday with Bulgarian dance.

The event is scheduled to commence at 12:00 p.m. local time on March 3, 2024 (Sunday), following the regular school hours. It will take place in front of the school building, where attendees can partake in a shared meal featuring delicious Bulgarian dishes.

As reported by BTA, the Vasil Aprilov Bulgarian Sunday School in Charlotte holds the distinction of being the first Bulgarian-licensed school in North and South Carolina. Established on October 4, 2009, through the initiative and leadership of Galina Mandeva-Yordanova and Albena Radeva, the school aims to serve as a focal point for the Bulgarian community and uphold the Bulgarian language and culture. Following the curricula and teaching materials approved by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science, BNU "Vasil Aprilov" is dedicated to preserving Bulgaria's rich heritage and fostering a sense of community among Bulgarians in the region.

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Tags: Bulgaria, National Day, liberation, celebration


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