Romania’s National Day: Military parades, exhibitions, and fairs taking place in Bucharest and in the country
Those who remain in the city for the short break occasioned by the November 30 and December 1 public holidays can enjoy the military parade, explore the exhibitions of the museums that stay open throughout this period or do some season shopping at the fairs open in town. We outline below some of the events taking place in this period.
Most major cities in the country organize events to mark Romania’s National Day, but the military parades organized in Bucharest and in Alba-Iulia usually take the spotlight. In Bucharest, more than 1,500 military and staff of the Defense Ministry, Domestic Affairs Ministry, the Romanian Intelligence Service, the Special Telecommunications Service, and the National Administration of Penitentiaries will march in the parade organized on the premises of the city’s Triumph Arch Square. They will be joined by 150 foreign military from Belgium, France, Northern Macedonia, Moldova, Portugal, the US, the Netherlands, and military of NATO countries with a presence in Romania.
Where to watch the Bucharest parade: The event, which starts at 11:00, will be broadcast by the public television TVR and streamed on the National Defense Ministry’s Facebook page.
In Alba-Iulia, more than 700 military from all structures of the Defense Ministry and 60 military vehicles will parade on the city’s December 1 boulevard. The day continues with various events, among them concerts in the Alba Carolina fortress. The full program is available here.
Museums in Bucharest
The National Museum of Art of Romania (MNAR) and its subordinated museums – the Museum of Art Collections, Zambaccian Museum, and Pallady Museum – are open on December 1 between 10:00 and 18:00. Among the temporary exhibitions currently open at MNAR are Nostalgia. Remembrance. Recapture. European Landscape and Ruins in the 16th-19th Centuries, which exhibition aims to present the various aspects and meanings that the ruin receives in European visual culture; The Stories of the Cross, covering miniature sculpture in the Byzantine tradition; and Beyond the Legend. Neagoe Basarab, looking at the art developed in the age of the Wallachian ruler.
Grigore Antipa Museum of Nature History is open on November 30 and December 1 and 2 between 10:00 and 18:00. The public can see the temporary exhibition Slovenia – Pages of Nature, a project showcasing landscapes of the country, from its alpine peaks and the Adriatic Sea to its Karst landscapes and vineyards. Another temporary exhibition open on the ground floor of the museum is Hidden Creatures, which looks at the behavior of the most feared venomous species.
The National Museum of History of Romania (MNIR) is also open between November 30 and December 2, and the public can visit it between 09:00 and 17:00. Besides the museum’s permanent collection, those interested can visit an exhibition dedicated to the Getae and Dacian civilization, a project based on the exhibition Archeological treasures in Romania: Dacian and Romania Roots, which was presented last year at Madrid’s National Archeology Museums. The exhibition entailed the collaboration of 45 museums in Romania and the Republic of Moldova in the project coordinated by MNIR.
Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum is open on November 30 and December 1, and offers free entrance on Romania’s National Day. Those who brave the chilly weather can visit the impressive patrimony of the open-air museum and attend the traditional gifts fair opening there on December 30.
Art Safari - which at its tenth edition features exhibitions dedicated to John Constable, Ștefan Popescu, Lilian Theil, and Mircea Mureșan – is open on December 1. Visitors can also see, starting December 1, some exhibits from the National Cotroceni Museum, among them Costin Petrescu’s Portrait of Princess Maria, a portrait of the future Queen Marie of Romania done right after her marriage to then prince Ferdinand. Meanwhile, Cotroceni Museum will host a temporary exhibition with works by Irina Dragomir and Felix Aftene. Art Safari is open until December 11.
Christmas fairs take center stage in December, and the gift fairs have only started opening in Bucharest. Among them, the one at Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum. At the fair, open between November 30 and December 6, visitors can find various foods, preserves, sweets, and various hand-made items, such as musical instruments and pottery. On December 4, children can attend a season workshop where they can learn how to make ‘St Nicholas’ boot’ and then listen to a concert of carols. A shadow play performance is scheduled for December 6, presenting the legend of St Nicholas, as is a Charitable Fair organized by the Bucharest Pharmacy Students Society for the benefit of Hope and Homes for Children.
Events organized abroad by the Romanian Cultural Institute
Starting November 21, the branches of the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) have started organizing events to mark Romania’s National Day. Fifty events are set to take place in 31 cities abroad until December 10, ranging from exhibitions and concerts to masterclasses and recitals. Among the events, listed here, ICR New York hosts the opening of the documentary and landscape photography exhibition Winter in the Villages with works by photographer Sorin Onişor, and the launch of The Free Zone, a vinyl comprising works recorded by Romanian performers of the past decades, remixed by some the Romanian DJs of the day: Dj Vasile, Electric Brother, Matze, Nemos, NSK, K-lu, Dribbler.