Bulgaria Day of Liberation from Ottoman Domination is celebrated each year on March 3. It commemorates the day in 1878 when the Peace Treaty of San Stefano was struck between Russia and Turkey. The signing of this treaty put the nation of Bulgaria back on the map after an absence of about five centuries.

The Ottoman (Turkish) Empire had consumed Bulgaria at the end of the 14th century. In the 18th century a group of Bulgarians began working to revive the national identity of Bulgaria, encouraging Bulgarians to fight for their freedom. In 1876 a rebellion against the Turks was forcefully put down by the Ottoman forces and some 30,000 people were killed. In 1877 Czar Alexander II of Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire. He was motivated by concern for the Orthodox Christians living in Bulgaria. Russian and Bulgarian forces defeated the Ottoman troops at Shipka Pass, which led to the Treaty of San Stefano. Independence did not come instantly; Bulgaria was under Russian administration from 1877 to 1879.

In 1880, March 3 was celebrated in Bulgaria as the anniversary of the enthronement of Alexander II as the Russian Emperor. Alexander's support was critical to Bulgarian independence.He was and is seen as a liberator and hero in Bulgaria. In 1888, March 3 was first observed as Bulgaria's Day of Liberation. It was pronounced a national holiday in 1978 and has been included in the official list of holidays since 1990.

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