As autumn gives way to the chill of early winter, Romania lights up in celebration, marking two significant dates back-to-back: St. Andrew’s Day on November 30 and the National Day, also known as Great Union Day, on December 1. These consecutive public holidays not only offer a time of national pride and joy but also provide Romanians with a much-cherished extended weekend.
St. Andrew’s Day, a national holiday since 2015, holds a special place in the hearts of Romanians. St. Andrew, the patron saint of Romania and the Romanian Orthodox Church, is revered for his role in spreading Christianity in Scythia Minor, now part of modern Romanian Dobrudja. This day resonates deeply with the Romanian populace, with over 900,000 Romanians named after the saint celebrating their name day.
Following St. Andrew’s Day is the National Day of Romania, a day that resonates with historical significance and national pride. Also known as Great Union Day, December 1st marks the monumental unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia, and Bukovina with the Kingdom of Romania in 1918, a pivotal moment in the country’s history. This unification was a culmination of events that began earlier in the year, starting with Bessarabia and followed by Bukovina. The historic Alba Iulia National Assembly on December 1, 1918, which saw 1,228 elected representatives decree the unification, is remembered and celebrated even 103 years later.
Across the country and in Romanian communities around the world, the National Day is celebrated with parades, fireworks, concerts, and military displays. In Bucharest, the day is marked by a grand military parade, while local communities host cultural events, showcasing traditional music, dance, and cuisine, celebrating the rich tapestry of Romanian culture.
According to a study by Cult Research, most Romanians (41%) prefer to watch parades and events on TV, while 30% choose to participate in them, such as parades, demonstrations and concerts in their area. In the research, these activities emerged as the most popular ways to commemorate Romania’s National Day.
Younger individuals under 35 showed a greater inclination towards direct participation in local cultural events, indicating a greater desire to be involved and connected to their community. On the other hand, 55- to 64-year-olds were more inclined to watch parades and events on TV, reflecting a preference for the comfort of their homes while maintaining a connection to national events.
Regardless of age, this extended weekend is not just a pause from the daily grind but a reminder of Romania’s rich history and cultural legacy. It is a time for reflection on the country’s journey, an opportunity for Romanians to reconnect with their roots and celebrate the unity and resilience that define their national identity.
The BR team extends heartfelt greetings to all Romanians, wishing them a joyous St. Andrew’s Day and a proud National Day!