Bucharest

December 1: Marea Unire

more than a year ago

December 1, Marea Unire (The Great Union) is currently Romania’s National Holiday.

It is celebrated in Bucharest with a somewhat pompous, Cold War-style military parade through the capital that starts up at Casa Scanteii around 11:00 and usually circles around the Arc de Triumf.

The best viewing spots are along Soseaua Kiseleff, but arrive early as crowds can be big. Also worth noting is that there is usually a dress rehearsal the last Saturday before the day itself: if you really want to see grown men and women playing at soldiers that could well be the best time to do so.

A parallel event takes place in Alba Iulia, where the Marea Unire actually took place, for what December 1st celebrates is the day in 1918 that the representatives of the Romanian population of Transylvania (which had been part of Hungary or the Hapsburg Empire for centuries) voted to unite with the Principalities of Romania (Moldavia and Wallachia).

Moldavia and Wallachia had in turn had their own unire on January 24, 1859. January 24 is also a national holiday. A major ceremony takes place in the northeastern Romanian city of Ia┼či.

The Marea Unire provokes fierce debate to this day. Though Romania’s hegemony over Transylvania is not now questioned by anyone except the most fervent Hungarian nationalists, the manner in which the Hungarian minority of the region has often been treated (either persecuted or favoured, depending on your point of view) and its ongoing right to self-determination, are valid political topics even today.

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17.11.2012
Nachum Katz
Israel,
what stores will be open on that day?
22.10.2012
Adrian Mares
Australia,
1.Antonescu's regime was NOT fascist.2.My question is : why do you hate so much Romania ?
30.08.2012
Mihai Goldea
Romania,
1. The Axis powers did not exist in 1914, you actually mean the Central Powers.2. Romania sought for peace in 1917 after the collapse of the Russian empire, which put her into a untennable position on the front. The collpase of the Russian empire nullified alle successes against the Central Powers the Romanian army achieved in 1917.
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