For the first time 3 March was celebrated in 1880 as the Day of the Ascension of Emperor Alexander II.
Since 1888 it has been commemorated as the Day of Bulgaria's Liberation from Ottoman rule.
It was celebrated as a national holiday for a single time in 1978 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Liberation. Ten years later it became a legal holiday.
By a legislative decision of 5 March 1990 this date was declared national holiday.