Day of the Union of Bessarabia with Romania Date in the current year: March 27, 2024

Day of the Union of Bessarabia with Romania The Day of the Union of Bessarabia with Romania (Ziua Unirii Besarabiei cu Romania) is a Romanian observance held annually on March 27. It was established in 2017 to commemorate the independence of Bessarabia from the Russian Empire and its subsequent union with Romania that occurred on March 27, 1918.

Bessarabia is a historical region in Eastern Europe located between the Prut and Dniester rivers. Originally part of the Principality of Moldavia, it was annexed by the Russian Empire following the Treaty of Bucharest of 1812. Russia tried to integrate Bessarabia by expelling native population and replacing it by other ethnicities, as well as by intensive Russification.

Bessarabia remained under Russian rule for over a century. During this time, Moldavia united with Wallachia to form Romania. Bessarabia’s split from Russia and its union with Romania became possible due to World War I and the 1917 Russian Revolution. The former caused a surge in national awareness, whereas the latter weakened Russia, making it much easier for Bessarabia to split.

On December 15 (O.S. December 2) 1917, the newly created Bessarabian parliament proclaimed the Moldavian Democratic Republic within Russia. On February 6 (O.S. January 24) 1918, Moldova declared its independence from Russia. Finally, on April 9 (O.S. March 27) 1918, the Moldavian parliament voted for the unification with Romania. The union was formally recognized by the European powers after the end of World War I.

However, the union did not last long. After the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact shortly before the beginning of World War II, the USSR occupied Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, splitting Bessarabia between the Ukrainian and Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republics. In 1991, the Moldavian SSR gained independence as Moldova following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since then, a movement has emerged to reunite Bessarabia with Romania, although it doesn’t have universal support.

The project to commemorate Bessarabia’s union with Romania was initiated by the then deputy of the People’s Movement Party Eugen Tomac. In October 2015, the Senate of Romania unanimously adopted the Day of the Union of Bessarabia with Romania. However, it took about a year and a half for the holiday to be adopted by the Chamber of Deputies. On March 27, 2017, the holiday was promulgated by Presient Klaus Iohannis, becoming official.

The Day of the Union of Bessarabia with Romania is marked by cultural, artistic, and scientific events organized by state and local authorities, NGOs, and cultural institutions both in Romania and abroad. The national flag of Romania is flown throughout the country on the occasion of the holiday.

Some political parties in Moldova support the idea of establishing a similar holiday there, whereas others actively reject it. As a result, the Day of the Union of Bessarabia with Romania is unofficially celebrated by some Moldovans who support the unification, as well as by various Romanian organizations working in Moldova, such as the Romanian Cultural Institute.

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Day of the Union of Bessarabia with Romania, holidays in Romania, observances in Romania, Bessarabia