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15 January, National Culture Day and 165 since the birth of Mihai Eminescu

on 15 January 2015

Today, Romania is celebrating 165 years since the birth in Botosani, on 15 January 1850, of the poet Mihai Eminescu, who on 1 December 1886 published the poem "La steaua" (To the star), one of his most famous poems. In the same day we celebrate the National Culture Day, an anniversary which is taking place since 2010, when the Chamber of Deputies approved the law [1] according to which the poet's birthday became the National Culture Day.

Mihai Eminescu spent his childhood in Botosani and Ipoteşti, places that he often evoked in his works. Since his first writings dated back in 1866, he established himself over time due to his talents as a poet, novelist, dramatist and journalist. Mihai Eminescu is considered by literary critics the most important poetic voice of Romanian literature.

We reproduce below some excerpts from "La steaua" poem:

"So far it is athwart the blue
To where yon star appears,
That for its light to reach our view
Has needed thousand years.

Maybe those ages gone it shed
Its glow, then languished in the skies,
Yet only now its rays have sped
Their journey to our eyes."


[1] Law no. 238 of 7 December 2010 on declaring 15 January the National Culture Day was published in the Official Gazette no. 831 on 13 December 2010. The enactment had at that time 175 votes in favor, one against and two abstentions.