On 1st December, Romania celebrated those who achieved the union of all Romanians within a single nation state 100 years ago
On 1st December, Romania celebrated 100 years since the creation of the nation state. Around 450 different public events were held around the country to mark this anniversary and the National Day.
Despite the biting cold, with the lowest temperatures recorded on this day in the last 60 years, hundreds of thousands of people attended the outdoor festivities. In the morning, Bucharest hosted the biggest military parade in recent decades. 4,000 military took part, including more than 500 soldiers from 20 partner and allied countries. More than 200 pieces of military equipment were involved and the capital city’s sky was crossed by almost 50 aircraft.
The equipment included, for the first time, the Patriot missile defence system and the Piranha 5 armoured vehicles made in Romania starting this year. In the afternoon, all eyes were on Alba Iulia, the city in central Romania where Transylvania’s union with Romania was proclaimed on 1st December 1918. Another military parade was held there, the biggest in the city’s history. Patriarch Daniel, the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem held a service in front of the Union Cathedral, and President Klaus Iohannis inaugurated the Union Bridge and the Great Union Memorial. The people who came to Alba Iulia from all corners of the country and abroad also celebrated the Centenary through music, as singers from all historical regions of Romania brought their traditions and costumes to the City of the Union.
Tens of thousands of portions of food were distributed free of charge among those present in Alba Iulia, which, for one day, became a pedestrian-only city. The day ended with a spectacular firework display. Alba Iulia also played host to the 12th edition of the Congress of Romanian Spirituality whose aim is to consolidate dialogue with the Romanians living abroad.
1st December was in fact celebrated around the world, with the Romanian Cultural Institute and Romania’s diplomatic missions holding numerous events. President Klaus Iohannis urged all Romanians, whether in Romania or abroad, to build together the Romania of the following century united around values such as democracy, freedom and equality before the law. Prime minister Viorica Dancila expressed her wish that Romanians enter the second century of the existence of Greater Romania by emulating the example of the founding fathers, in order to carry through the strategic projects they wished to accomplish for the country. (Translated by C. Mateescu)