Romania’s National Anthem Day

The day of 29th of July was proclamed (under Law nr. 99/1998) The Day of Romania’s National Anthem – “Desteapta-te romane!”, a symbol of the Romanian Revolution unity in 1848. The Romanian National Anthem originates from the patriotic poem “An echo”, by Andrei Mutesanu, published in the June-July 1848 issue of supplement “Paper for the mind, heart and literature”, on a song chosen by Anton Pann. The profoundly patriotic and national content of the poem was meant to motivate the numerous national right gatherings of the militants, especially those in Transylvania, Nicolae Balcesu naming this anthem “a true Romanian Marseillaise”.

In the current Constitution, Anton Pann is credited as the author of the anthem’s song, but the song that Andrei Muresanu played to his poem was widely shared in the epoqe and its author is not truly known. Most probably, it is a popular song that was sang on a religious text at that time, which was called “From my mother’s breast”, a folk song that was selected by Anton Pann and leter adapted with Gheorghe Ucenescu. It was intoned during the Independence War, the First World War and the Second World War and during the crisis that followed after the 23rd of August 1944, when Romania detached from its alliance with Germany and united with the Allies, the anthem was spontaneously sang and broadcast by all the radio stations.
Right after the communist dictatorship was installed and king Mihai I stepped down on the 30th of December 1947, “Desteapta-te, romane!” and other marches or patriotic songs were forbidden, and those who were intoning or humming them were sentenced to prison. On the 15th of November 1987, on the occasion of the revolution in Brasov, the workers at the trucks factories started singing the anthem, even though many of them didn’t know the lyrics well.
On the 22nd of December 1989, during the anti-communist revolution, the anthem was sang on the streets as a true national anthem, replacing the communist anthem “Three colors”, and was adopted as Romania’s National Anthem in 1990. For severeal years “Desteapta-te, romane!” was also Moldavia’s national anthem, but was replaces in 1994 with “Our language”.

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