Romania’s “Great Union Day” or Ziua Marii Uniri is a national holiday, celebrated on December 1st.
It marks the unification of Transylvania, Basarabia and Bucovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918 – known as the Great Union.
Beatrice Elsabbagh, KTL Project Coordinator shared how before this day, Romania was only made up of Moldavia and Wallachia, principalities unified by Prince Alexandru Loan Cuza in 1859.
Usually paying a visit to the centre of Iasi City in Romania, she spoke about her celebration away from her home country.
“Now that I live in Ireland, I watch the national parade on TV, which is held yearly in Bucharest and Iasi where the Romania military honour this day. The military parade takes place beneath the Arch of Triumph; a landmark monument, modelled after the famous one in Paris, erected to celebrate Romania's victory in World War I.”
“Romanians gather in the centres of their cities where the parades take place and watch the military marches while the Romanian anthem and other patriotic songs are played.
This follows street dancing to traditional Romanian music whilst drinking and eating traditional food and Romanian boiled wine (usually made by the farmers at home with cinnamon!).
In the evenings, usually in the bigger cities, concerts are held, and the day ends with fireworks shows.”
"...The Great Union of 1918 was and remains the most sublime event in Romanian history.
Its greatness resides in the fact that the fulfilment of the national unity is not the work of any politician, government, or party; it is the historic deed of the whole Romanian nation, accomplished out of a powerful longing coming from the vivid awareness of the unity of the people and channelled by political leaders for it to be led towards its aim with a remarkable political intelligence..." (Florin Constantiniu, “A Sincere Historian of the Romanian People", 1997)
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