Some 1,500 troops staged a military parade in the heart of the Romanian capital to mark the country’s National Union Day.
Helicopters and military planes streaked across a cloudless blue sky, but the pandemic meant the aviation display and the parade were much smaller than in previous years.
President Klaus Iohannis decorated healthcare professionals, teachers and members of civil society and thanked them “for making Romania a better place.”
Thousands of people thronged streets and parks on a bright cold day which was a national holiday in the nation of 19 million.
World War I
The president, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca and others attended the military parade at the Triumphal Arch which was built after World War I when Romania almost doubled its territory.
Restaurants offered customers traditional dishes of sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls), sausages with beans in a tomato sauce and crackling, washed down with mulled wine or fiery plum brandy.
Cars and buses attached small Romanian flags to mark the day when the Romanian provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia reunited with Transylvania after World War I.
President Iohannis said the day was a moment for Romanians to take stock of “and think more about the importance of our national identity and (of) the values and aspirations we share.”
“December 1 is an occasion to thank remarkable personalities for their work, day in, day out, which makes Romania a better place.”
Romania’s National Day marks the respect which will always have for a generation which dedicated its body and soul to fulfilling a lofty ideal. They represent a symbol of unity, of sacrifice and hope of the Romanian people.”
“These values are more relevant than ever and we should show our gratitude to those who looks after our health and lives,” he said.
To commemorate Romania’s Great Union Day 2021, Google featured the animated Doodle on its homepage.
The Doodle shows the tricolor National Romanian flag flying high. December 1st is the Great Union Day which Romanians celebrate each year.