Bulgaria’s national day is celebrated on 3 March – the anniversary of the day in 1878 on which Bulgaria was granted autonomy within the Ottoman Empire after the Turks’ defeat in the Russo-Turkish War.
There had been two substantial Bulgarian Empires in the preceding 1,200 years:
The first lasted for just over 300 years from 681 to 1018 and at its height stretched across all of modern-day Bulgaria and Serbia and most of modern-day Moldova, Romania, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, mainland Greece and Turkey-in-Europe, as well as parts of Ukraine, Hungary and Croatia. It collapsed after being defeated by the Byzantine Empire (formerly the Eastern Roman Empire) in 1014. The second was founded in 1185, was considerably smaller and lasted for just over two centuries before being overrun by the Ottomans in the late 14th and early 15th centuries.