Oltenia Day in Romania Date in the current year: March 21, 2022

Oltenia Day in Romania Oltenia Day (Ziua Olteniei) is a Romanian holiday that was formally established in 2017 to commemorate the entry of Tudor Vladimirescu’s rebel forces into Bucharest during the Wallachian uprising of 1821. It is observed annually on March 21.

Oltenia, formerly also known as Lesser Wallachia, is a geographical region and historical province of Romania situated between the Danube, the Southern Carpathian mountains, and the Olt river, which gave the region its name. During the Middle Ages Oltenia became part of Wallachia, which in turn became a tributary state of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century.

In 1821, Oltenia became the epicenter of a social and political rebellion against the Phanariote administration of Wallachia and the boyar class. Although the Wallachian uprising was not directed against the Ottoman Empire, historians describe it as one of the first examples of Romanian nationalism and the beginning of national awakening in Romania.

The 1821 Wallachian uprising was initiated by the Pandurs, a light infantry military unit, led by Tudor Vladimirescu, who was respected for his military skills, outstanding negotiating abilities and charisma. Vladimirescu and his Pandurs spent almost ten years preparing for the uprising, which eventually broke out in January 1821.

During the first day of the rebellion, Vladimirescu issued a proclamation addressed to peasants, encouraging them to “meet evil with evil” and fight their oppressors, the upper boyar class. He also wrote a letter to the Ottoman Sultan, ensuring him that his uprising was anti-boyar but not anti-Ottoman.

As Vladimirescu’s troops marched through Oltenia, some boyars fled, while others stayed behind and pledged allegiance to the rebels. The Pandurs were quickly joined by groups of Arnauts (Albanians) who also opposed the Phanariote regime, and by veterans of the Serbian Revolution. According to different estimates, Vladimirescu’s army comprised between 4,000 and 24,000 men.

On March 21, 1821, the rebel troops finally entered the Wallachian capital of Bucharest. The boyars who had not fled the city welcomed Vladimirescu, took an oath of allegiance, and recognized him as governor. However, two months later Vladimirescu was betrayed by one of his followers, arrested, tortured, and killed; his Pandurs scattered.

Although the Wallachian uprising suffered a military defeat, it had a delayed effect on the situation in the region and left a trace in the history of Oltenia, that’s why it is commemorated. The project to establish Oltenia Day was proposed by 27 Romanian senators and deputies representing different political parties. It was approved by the Senate on November 1, 2016 and by the Chamber of Deputies on March 21, 2017. President Klaus Iohannis promulgated the holiday on April 13, 2017, and the first celebration took place on March 21, 2018.

Oltenia Day events are organized by the central and local authorities in Romania, as well as by Romanian cultural institutions abroad. They include, but are not limited to, cultural, artistic, and scientific programs, special television and radio shows, and other events and activities celebrating the history and culture of Oltenia.

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Category

Anniversaries and Memorial Days

Country

Romania

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Oltenia Day in Romania, holidays in Romania, observances in Romania, Wallachian uprising, Tudor Vladimirescu