Moldova — Festivals and Events
Favorite Moldovian festivals are those connected with wine and celebrating the country’s emergence as an independent republic. Others commemorate religious events and even more showcase the much-loved music, song and dance traditions with lively performances. Moldovans love to celebrate and there are plenty of chances for visitors to join in.
Easter Orthodox Christmas is celebrated approximately two weeks after Christmas in the US, around January 8 and 9. It’s a time for family, with many Moldovans returning home for the occasion. Churches glow with candles, buildings are festively decorated and traditional foods are served.
As with Christmas, Easter takes place later than in the US according to the church calendar, usually in late March or early April. It’s the most important religious festival of the year and continues over Holy Week with street processions full of icons and religious images, church services with candlelight masses and family get-togethers.
May 1 is Labor Day, celebrated in Moldova as the International Day of Solidarity between Working People. It’s a national holiday with many city residents retreating to the glorious countryside.
Held on May 9, Victory Day is a day of remembrance for those who lost their lives in the long battle for Moldova’s independence.
Night of Museums
May 14 and 15 every year, museums in Chisinau are transformed into theaters for performances of traditional music, song, dance, and even wine-tasting sessions, with special exhibitions taking place as add-ons. The event occurs in tandem with International Museum Day and is one of the city’s most popular events.
Sweet Acacia Flower Music Contest
This event is a much-loved traditional musical contest between Moldovan folk bands and neighboring countries held every year in May. Traditional instruments, folk-singing contests and parades of costumes are performed by people of all ages, concluding with everyone joining in the hora dance.
One of the most important events of the year, Independence Day is a national holiday taking place on August 26. Military parades, visits to cemeteries and joyful street celebrations remember the fight for freedom from the Soviets.
National Day of Wine
Moldova’s national wine festival kicks off the first week of October all over Moldova. Set just after the grape harvest ends, the winery regions pull out all the stops to honor the country’s countless centuries of winemaking. Expect parties, street celebrations and endless tastings.
Chisinau City Day
This popular religious event celebrates the Eastern Orthodox anniversary of the Intercession of the Virgin Mary and takes place on October 14 in the capital. The heart of the festival is the main street, Stefan cel Mare, home to processions to the cathedral and many other events.
Moldova joins the rest of the world in celebrating the New Year with parties and gatherings on the evening of December 31. The skies are lit up with fireworks and visits to friends as the clock strikes midnight.