Holidays in Ukraine
January 1. New Year. This is everybody's favorite holiday. Decorating the Christmas tree, going to New Year's parties, getting presents, - we love all this and impatiently wait for New Year's eve to come.
January 7. Orthodox Christmas. A great deal of old Ukrainian customs that go back to centuries ago are connected with Christmas. They are fortune telling, singing Christmas carols, cooking traditional Ukrainian Christmas dishes, going to church.
January 22. Day of Unity. The symbol of territorial and spiritual unity of Ukraine, national harmony. Historically goes back to the date, when Eastern and Western Ukraine were united. On that day in 1919 the unity of all Ukrainian lands which formerly belonged to Russian Empire (UNR) and Austro-Hungarian Empire (ZUNR, an independent republic, which appeared in Galicia) in one sovereign state was solemnly proclaimed on Sofijivska Square in Kyiv.
February 14. St. Valentine's Day. The Day of lovers, when we give presents and flowers to our sweethearts. - not official.
March 8. International Women's Day. This day is hugely popular among women in Ukraine as they receive flowers and chocolates from the men they know. They should not do any housework on this day.
Easter Day comes according to the lunar calendar. It could fall on any Sunday in April or May and is full of lovely traditions. Eggs are boiled and then painted brightly in different colors. Very special sweet Easter bread is baked, full of raisins. Often people will take food like the eggs and bread to the church to be blessed by a priest on Easter night.
1, 2 May - Labor Day. A traditional Soviet era holiday that is celebrated even now. In old times it was celebrated by numerous demonstrations of working people on the central streets of biggest cities. Nowadays it's just a good occasion to have another to have some rest. Some people visit public performances and concerts; the others prefer to have a picnic in the forest.
9 May - Victory Day. This is the day when people of Ukraine and other former Soviet Union republics celebrate the victory over the fascist Germany in 1945 and venerate the memory of 20 million Soviet people who put their lives on the altar of peace. That took life of nearly every 6th Ukrainian citizen. Because of its tragic content, the holiday is of lesser entertaining kind but instead it is celebrated with a great respect. Celebration includes military parade and salutes.
Trinity Day - another great Orthodox holiday, which is celebrated on the 50-th day after Orthodox Easter.
28 June - Constitution Day. This holiday commemorates the adoption of Ukrainian constitution in 1996.
June 30. Day of Youth - On this day all young people celebrate their holiday. There are usually many interesting entertaining programs, concerts and performances organized by local authorities for this day.
24 Aug - Independence Day. This holiday is dedicated to the proclamation of Ukrainian independence from the USSR in 1991. Large public performances, concerts and festivals, competitions, and military parades are held this day.
If any of the above official holidays fall on Saturday or Sunday, it is customary for the following Monday to be an official public holiday. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine may also transfer Monday or Friday working days on a preceding or following Saturday if any of the above holidays fall on correspondingly Tuesday and Thursday.