This holiday is Bulgaria's national day and honours the Bulgarian volunteers who, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878 with the assistance of Russian and Romanian forces, liberated Bulgaria from almost 500 years of Ottoman rule. This holiday is a welcome holiday at the start of spring and it traditionally marked by ceremonies across Bulgaria, particularly in those towns and cities which saw the fiercest fighting in the war.
Shipka pass in the Balkan Mountains is at the centre of celebrations marking the key battle that took place there. In Sofia, there will be church services, wreath laying and a military march to honour those who gave their lives in the war.
March 3 became Bulgaria's Liberation Day in 1888, though it took until 1978 before it gained its National Day of Bulgaria status and was formally decreed as an official holiday in 1990