22.01 – Day of Unity of Ukraine
A holiday established “… taking into account the great political and historical significance of the unification of the Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian People's Republic for the formation of a single (conciliar) Ukrainian state …”, in accordance with the Decree of the President of Ukraine “On the Day of the Unity of Ukraine” No. 42/99 of January 21, 1999. The Act of Unification of the UNR and ZUNR was proclaimed on January 22, 1919 on Sofia Square in Kyiv.
This day also commemorates the proclamation of the independence of the Ukrainian People's Republic by the IV Universal of the Ukrainian Central Rada on January 22, 1918.
27.01 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Commemorative date introduced by the decision of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2005. It is commemorated annually on the day of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau (Oświęcim, Poland) by the troops of the 1st Ukrainian Front in 1945. It was in this camp that the Nazis killed about 1 million Jews, as well as Poles, Roma, Ukrainians, and Soviet prisoners of war. Ukraine has been celebrating this day at the state level since 2012, according to the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine “On the 70th anniversary of the tragedy of Babyn Yar”.
29.01 – Heroes of Kruti Remembrance Day
The battle near Kruti (now Chernihiv region) took place on January 29, 1918, during the Bolshevik intervention in Ukraine. The aggressor was opposed by the military formations of the Ukrainian People's Republic. A significant part of its defenders were volunteers – students of the Ukrainian National University, Kyiv University, high school students. Retreating, part of the student hundred got surrounded, lost their bearings and went to the Kruty station, which was already occupied by the Bolsheviks. 27 captured young men were shot. The youngest victim was only 16 years old.
This battle became for the Ukrainian people a symbol of heroism and self-sacrifice of the young generation in the struggle for independence. Thanks to the victory and courage of the Ukrainian soldiers, the hostile attack of the Bolsheviks on Kyiv was stopped.
20.02 – Day of Heavenly Hundred Heroes
It is honored annually in accordance with the Decree of the President of Ukraine dated February 11, 2015. “Heavenly Hundred” name the 104 protesters who died during the Revolution of Dignity and Euromaidan actions in December 2013 – February 2014. The peak of the confrontation between the Ukrainian people and the regime at that time fell precisely on February 20. On February 21, 2014, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine recognized the dead Maidan protesters as victims.
The date is set to support public initiatives and “with the aim of perpetuating the great human, civic and national courage and self-sacrifice, fortitude and resilience of citizens, thanks to which the course of the history of our country was changed, worthy of honoring the feat of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred who gave their lives during the Revolution of Dignity (November 2013 – February 2014), defending the ideals of democracy, defending human rights and freedoms, the European future of Ukraine”.
26.02 – Day of Resistance to Occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol
According to the Decree of the President of Ukraine dated February 26, 2020, the commemorative date was established in order to honor the courage and heroism of the citizens of Ukraine living in the temporarily occupied territory – in Crimea, in defense of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. It was on February 26, 2014, under the conditions of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, that the Crimean Tatars organized a rally in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine in the city of Simferopol.
24.04 – Remembrance Day of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire Victims
Armenian Genocide – deliberate, purposeful physical extermination of the Armenian people, which took place on the territory of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey from 1915 to 1923. On April 24, 1915, the Turkish authorities arrested more than 5,500 Armenians, including 235 representatives of the Armenian elite. Most of them were killed. About 1.5 million Armenians became victims of the genocide.
The actions of the authorities of the Ottoman Empire (Republic of Turkey) against the Armenian people are recognized as genocide at the legislative level by many countries of the world (in particular, Belgium, the Vatican, Poland, Portugal, the USA, France, Germany, Sweden, etc.), the European Parliament, the UN Commission, the International Association of Researchers genocide, etc.
26.04 – International Day of Remembrance of the Chernobyl Disaster and International Remembrance Day of Radiation Accidents and Disasters Victims
Introduced by a resolution of the UN General Assembly on December 8, 2016. Establishing this memorable date, the General Assembly noted that “serious long-term consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are still felt, after thirty years, and also, in connection with this, the needs of the affected local communities and territories remain”, and offered “to all member states, relevant institutions of the United Nations system and others international organizations, as well as representatives of civil society to celebrate this day”. This event is a reminder of the danger of using nuclear energy, of the heroism of the accident liquidators, and of the consequences that this disaster brought to the environment and people.
08.05 – Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation
By the resolution of the UN General Assembly of November 22, 2004, May 8 was declared the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation dedicated to the victims of World War II. It has been celebrated in Ukraine since 2015 with the aim of commemorating the feat of the Ukrainian people, their significant contribution to the victory of the Anti-Hitler coalition in World War II, expressing respect for all fighters against Nazism, perpetuating the memory of fallen soldiers, victims of war, war crimes, deportations and crimes against humanity.
09.05 – Victory Day over Nazism in World War II
The commemorative date was established in accordance with the law of April 9, 2015, adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine “On the Perpetuation of the Victory over Nazism in World War II of 1939–1945” as part of the package of laws on decommunization. The commemoration of Victory Day over Nazism includes rethinking the events of World War II, destroying Soviet historical myths, dialogue around complex pages of the past, shifting the emphasis from the history of military operations to the history of specific people, and thus refusing to celebrate in favor of commemoration.
14.05 – Day of Remembrance the Ukrainians, who rescued the Jews during World War II
The memorial date was established in accordance with the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine dated February 2, 2021 “On honoring the memory of Ukrainians who rescued Jews during World War II”, as a sign of respect to the Ukrainian Righteous Among the Nations and other saviors of the Jews who “risking their lives and the lives of their relatives, they helped Jews escape the terror of the Nazis during the Holocaust”. In the occupied territory of Ukraine, helping Jews was much more dangerous than in the countries of Western Europe occupied by Nazi Germany. The Hitlerites punished not only the person who helped, but also his entire family.
Ukraine ranks fourth in the world (after Poland, the Netherlands and France) in terms of the number of the Righteous Among the Nations (2,691 people as of January 1, 2022).
15.05 – The Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression
Established by the Decree of the President of Ukraine dated May 21, 2007 for the purpose of commemorating the victims of political repressions, drawing public attention to the tragic events in the history of Ukraine caused by the violent implementation of communist ideology, reviving national memory, affirming intolerance to any manifestations of violence against humanity. The terror had a purposeful, organized character and affected almost all strata of the Ukrainian nation – the intelligentsia, the military, politicians, church, culture and art figures, and the peasantry.
During the period of the Great Terror of 1937–1938 on the territory of the Ukrainian SSR, according to historians, the communist regime sentenced almost 200,000 people, of which about two-thirds were executed. The rest were sent to prisons and camps.
18.05 – The Day of Remembrance of the Crimean Tatar People Genocide Victims
It is celebrated on the anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944, as a result of which 180,014 people were evicted from the Crimean Peninsula. Most of the deportees were sent to special settlements in Uzbekistan, some to Gulag camps. According to minimal estimates, more than 30,000 Crimean Tatars died of hunger, disease, and exhaustion in just one year. In 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine recognized the actions of the Soviet authorities against the Crimean Tatars as genocide of the Crimean Tatar people.
28.07 – Baptism Day of Kyivan Rus – Ukraine
The national commemorative date in honor of the baptism of Rus, which is celebrated annually on July 28 – the day of memory of the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Volodymyr. Established as part of the celebration of the 1020th anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus, in accordance with the Decree of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko “On the Day of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus – Ukraine” No. 668/2008 of July 25, 2008.
02.08 – International Day of Remembrance of the Roma Nazi Genocide
During World War II, more than 90% of the Roma population of Austria, Germany, and Estonia were destroyed by the Nazis and their supporters. About 20,000 Roma were exterminated in Ukraine as a result of the punitive actions of the German occupation authorities. On the night of August 2–3, 1944, almost 3,000 Roma were killed in the gas chambers of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. In general, more than 20,000 of the 23,000 Roma deported from 14 European countries died in the camp. According to various estimates, up to 500,000 people, or more than 25 % of the pre-war Roma population in Europe, were victims of the Roma genocide during the World War II.
Memorial Day has been celebrated in Ukraine since 2004.
23.08 – European Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Stalinism and Nazism
It is celebrated annually in the countries of the European Union on the day of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939. This document recorded a conspiracy between two totalitarian regimes and paved the way for the start of World War II. In a secret protocol to this treaty, totalitarian regimes divided spheres of influence in Europe. Their agreements provided for the liquidation of a number of countries – Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia. A week after the signing of the Pact, on September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, starting World War II.
29.08 – Memorial Day of defenders of Ukraine who died in the struggle for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity
It was established in 2019 with the aim of honoring the memory of military personnel and members of volunteer formations who died in the struggle for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and perpetuating their heroism. The memorial date was established as a reminder of one of the bloodiest events of the war in the east of Ukraine – the Ilovai tragedy. On August 29, 2014, during the withdrawal of the ATO forces from the encirclement near Ilovaisk, the Russian leadership violated the agreements, and the enemy armed forces shot at the Ukrainian military columns at close range. At that time, according to official data, 366 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, 429 were wounded, 158 went missing, 300 were captured.
29.09 – The Day of Remembrance of the Babyn Yar Victims
On this day, the memory of the Babyn Yar tragedy – a symbol of the Holocaust in Ukraine – is perpetuated. On September 29 and 30, 1941, the Nazi Sonderkommando 4a of Einsatzgruppe C shot 33,771 Jews in the Babyn Yar tract, destroying almost the entire Jewish community of Kyiv. During the Nazi occupation, more than 100,000 people were shot in Babyn Yar: Jews, Roma, mentally ill, Soviet prisoners of war, Ukrainian nationalists, clergy.
13.10 – Day of Remembrance of the Victims Shooting in the Dnipropetrovsk Botanical Garden
On October 13–14, 1941, a large-scale Nazi extermination of the Jewish population of Dnipropetrovsk (now Dnipro) took place, as a result of which 11,000 to 13,000 people were shot. Columns of people gathered near the central department store along Karla Liebknecht Street (now Mykhailo Hrushevskyi) headed for the beam located on the territory of the city Botanical Garden. The shootings continued for two days with a break for the night. Only some people managed to escape from death. During the occupation of the city (August 1941 – October 1943), the Nazis and their accomplices killed about 20,000 Jewish residents of Dnipropetrovsk.
14.10 – Ukraine Defenders Day
The holiday “Ukraine Defenders Day” was established by the decree of the President of Ukraine dated October 14, 2014 in order to honor the courage and heroism of defenders of the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, military traditions and victories of the Ukrainian people. At the same time, the Soviet tradition of celebrating the so-called “Defender of the Fatherland Day” on February 23 was abolished. In July 2021, “Ukraine Defender Day” was renamed “Ukraine Defenders Day” by draft law No. 2325.
28.10 – The Day of Liberation of Ukraine from the Nazi Invaders
It is celebrated annually on the day of the final expulsion of the troops of Nazi Germany and its allies during World War II beyond the borders of the modern territory of Ukraine. On October 27, 1944, Uzhhorod was liberated, on October 28, Soviet troops entered the outskirts of the town of Chop in Transcarpathia – the modern western border of Ukraine.
25.11 – Holodomor Memorial Day
It is celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday of November. The victims of the Holodomor artificially created by the communist authorities in 1932–1933, according to various estimates, were from 3 to 7 million Ukrainians, as well as Russians, Poles, Jews, Bulgarians, Germans and representatives of other ethnic groups who lived in national areas on the territory of the USSR.
In 2006, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine officially recognized the Holodomor of 1932–1933 as a genocide of the Ukrainian people. Also, such actions of the Soviet authorities were recognized as genocide by many countries of the world both at the state (Australia, the Vatican, Georgia, Estonia, Canada, Moldova, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, etc.) and regional levels (Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Italy, the USA, etc.). On December 15, 2022, the European Parliament adopted the corresponding resolution, which recognizes the Holodomor caused by the Soviet regime in Ukraine in 1932–1933 as genocide.
09.12 – International Remembrance Day of the Genocide Crime Victims
In September 2015, the UN General Assembly decided to declare December 9 as the International Remembrance Day of the Genocide Crime Victims, Commemoration of Their Human Dignity and Prevention of this Crime in order to honor the memory of people who became victims of genocide and prevent similar crimes in the future. It was on December 9, 1948 that the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted, which became one of the first international legal documents on human rights.
JEWISH NATIONAL HOLIDAYS AND MEMORABLE DATES
07.03 – Purim
The holiday commemorates the rescue of the Persian Jews from their extermination by Haman, the favorite of the Persian king Ahasuerus in the 5th century BC. On this holiday it is customary to read the scroll of Esther (Bible book) and have fun. A traditional holiday dish is gomentashi (triangular cookies).
06–07.04, 12–13.04 – Passover
The holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt and freedom from slavery. It begins on the 14th day of the month of Nisan and is celebrated for seven days in Israel and eight days outside of it. The first and last two days of the holiday are weekends.
18.04 – Disaster and Heroism Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah)
The Day of Remembrance and Mourning in Israel and beyond was established by the Knesset on Nisan 27 of the Jewish calendar in 1951. It is the 6th day after the end of Passover and a week before Yom HaZikaron and Independence Day. The proximity of these dates symbolizes the path of the Jewish people to the revival of the state. On this day, the 6 million Jews who became victims of Nazism in World War II are remembered around the world. It is marked every year by the lighting of six candles in synagogues and the sounding of sirens, during which all of Israel falls silent.
24.04 – Remembrance Day for those who died in Israel's wars and victims of terror (Yom HaZikaron)
Israel's National Day of Mourning. On this day, the memory of soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), fallen in wars, policemen, as well as representatives of other security services, victims of terrorist attacks are commemorated. Memorial Day is celebrated on the 4th of Iyar according to the Jewish calendar with nationwide events with the participation of representatives of the government and the army, as well as the sounds of sirens and a minute of silence throughout Israel.
26.04 – Independence Day of the State of Israel (Yom Ha'atzmaut)
The main public holiday of Israel is celebrated annually in memory of the proclamation of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. On this day, the Declaration of Independence of Israel was signed. The holiday is celebrated on the 5th of Iyar according to the Jewish calendar with public festivities and fireworks.
09.05 – Lag B'Omer
The Jewish holiday is celebrated on the day of the death of an outstanding figure in the history of Judaism – Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rambam), who commanded to honor him with fun. It is celebrated on the 33rd day of the Omer (18 Iyar). The meaning of the name: the 33rd day of the Omer in the number of days from Pesach to Shavuot.
19.05 – Jerusalem Day (Yom-Yerushaláyim)
The holiday was declared in honor of the transition to Israeli control of the eastern part of Jerusalem after the Six-Day War (1967). During the battle for the Old City, the Jews managed to establish control over the holy places of the Temple Mount for the first time in 2,000 years. This day – the 28th of Iyar according to the Jewish calendar - symbolizes the historical connection of the Jewish people with Jerusalem. It is celebrated with solemn events and ceremonies near the Western Wall.
26–27.05 – Shavuot
On this day, according to sacred traditions, after the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt, Moses received the 10 commandments on Mount Sinai. In the synagogue, they read the Torah scroll and talk about how the commandments were given and the contract concluded between G-d and the Jewish people.
27.07 – Tisha B'Av
The National Day of Mourning of the Jewish People is the day when the First and Second Jerusalem Temples were destroyed, the expulsion of Jews from England (1290), France (1306), Spain (1492) and other tragic events in the life of the Jewish people. The customs of this day require strict observance of fasting, it is forbidden to wear leather clothes, to work, to study the Torah, because it is a source of joy.
16–17.09 – Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year, which is celebrated on two consecutive days of the autumn month of Tishrei according to the Jewish calendar. This holiday is called the Day of the “holy assembly”, when it is necessary to stop working, blow the shofar (horn) and make sacrifices. During the festive meal, it is customary to greet each other with wishes to be entered in the “Book of Life”.
25.09 – Yom Kippur
Day of fasting, repentance and remission of sins. It is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Tishrei according to the Jewish calendar, completing the 10 days of penance. According to the Talmud, G-d pronounces his verdict on this day, assessing the actions and life of a person for the entire past year. Traditionally, on this day, Jews abstain from food for 25 hours, spending time in intense prayers.
30.09–01.10 – Sukkot, Three Pilgrimage Festivals
It begins on the 15th of the month of Tishrei according to the Jewish calendar and lasts for 7 days. At this time, according to tradition, they eat meals (and spend the night in good weather) outside the house, in a kuren (tent) in memory of the wandering of the Jews in the Sinai desert during the Exodus from Egypt. Traditional foods on Sukkot are challah (bread), honey, and wine. Lulav (date palm branch) and etrog (citrus fruit) are also symbols of the holiday.
07.10 – Shemini Atzeret
The eighth, final day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. It is celebrated on the 22nd of Tishrei. This day was established by the teachers of the Law of the Jewish people as a separate holiday, on which the commandments of Sukkot – sitting in a tent and raising a lulav - are no longer observed. It is strictly forbidden to work.
08.10 – Simchat Torah
The holiday of giving the Torah, which is celebrated immediately after the end of Sukkot (in Israel – coincides with Shmini Atzeret), in the Diaspora countries – on the 9th day (after Shmini Atzeret). On this day, the annual Torah reading cycle ends and a new one immediately begins.
08.12 – Hanukkah
The holiday was established in honor of the victory of the Maccabees (Hasmoneans), Jewish rebels and defenders of the faith, in the war with the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire for national independence (II century BC). The consequence of the victory was the consecration of the altar and the restoration of the Temple service. The holiday lasts for eight days, during which candles are traditionally lit in the Hanukkah (candlestick with nine candles).
07.01, 25.12 – Christmas
One of the main holidays celebrated by all Christian denominations, as well as a number of countries and organizations of the world in honor of the birthday of Jesus Christ, the son of God. The holiday ends the Christmas fast. On the eve of the holiday (Holy Evening), a solemn liturgy (God service) is held in churches. After the service, the parishioners gather as a family for the Holy Supper, a characteristic feature of which is the consumption of 12 dishes (by analogy with the 12 apostles, followers of Jesus Christ). The main one among them is the “rich kutia”, which is seasoned with honey, nuts, raisins, etc. are added. Dinner begins when the first star is seen in the sky. On the morning of Christmas there is a special greeting “Christ is born!”, to which they respond “Let's praise him!”. On this day, it is customary to go to church for a holiday prayer, visit relatives, and carol.
The two dates of Christmas are explained by different calendars (Gregorian, Julian and New Julian). Christmas is celebrated on December 25 in most countries of Europe and Africa, as well as in Australia, India, South and North America. Starting from 2017, Ukraine celebrates Christmas twice – on December 25 and January 7, which are official holidays.
16.04 – Easter
The main Christian holiday established in honor of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It marks the transition from death to life, forgiveness of sins and receiving God's grace, goodness and love. A certain preparation for the holiday is observance by believers for seven weeks of Great Lent (that's how long Jesus Christ spent in the desert). It is a transitional holiday (every year the date is calculated according to the lunar-solar calendar) and falls on different days in connection with the use of one or another calendar (Julian, New Julian, Gregorian) by Christian denominations. Orthodox Christians attach great importance to the last week before Easter. During this week, Easter cakes are baked and eggs are painted, and the strictest fast is observed. It is customary to hold an Easter service from Saturday evening. After midnight, a solemn service is held in temples and churches – Easter Matins. It is necessary to sanctify Easter eggs and eggs, meat products before sunrise. After the service, the family gathers together at one table. It is customary to start a meal with eggs. After talking, it is customary to visit relatives and exchange Easter treats – to be baptized.
04.06. – Trinity
One of the main Christian holidays, which symbolizes the appearance (descent) of God before people in all three guises in the image of the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Feast of the Trinity also means the completion of God's earthly works, which were necessary for the salvation of mankind from sin, and is also interpreted as the feast of life. The date is transitional and is associated with the Easter holiday (celebrated on the 50th day after it). On this day, Orthodox churches hold services and read prayers. Believers visit the church to light candles and pray for the health of relatives and friends, as well as to ask God to fulfill their innermost desires. Temples on the Trinity are decorated with greenery – fresh flowers and branches of young trees are placed on the floor and icons are decorated with them. Believers bring with them twigs of birch or medicinal plants, it is believed that if they are consecrated and placed at home, ailments and diseases will bypass the family.
22.04 – Eid al-Fitr
The holiday of breaking the fast, which is preceded by a 30-day fast in the month of Ramadan. According to tradition, it was at this time that Mecca surrendered to the Prophet Muhammad and the Koran was given to Muslims. On the day of Uraza-Bayram, all prohibitions of strict fasting are lifted and people are allowed to serve treats on the table. After the morning collective prayer, the family gathers around a large table with festive treats. Most of the meal consists of meat products and pastries, which must be prepared in advance. Part of the dishes must be given to relatives. A special tradition is a special almsgiving on the last day of fasting, which communities send to the neediest people. On the day of the holiday, it is customary to share food with the poor. Before the holiday, Muslims put the house in order, perform a full ablution and put on their best clothes. It is customary to visit relatives and friends, as well as to visit the graves of the dead. For Muslims, it is a day of fun and a celebration of life, given by the Almighty. People greet each other by saying “Eid Mubarak!” (I wish you a blessed holiday). On the day of Uraza Bayram, you should not do homework, quarrel and wish bad things to others.
29.06 – Eid al-Adha
The “Feast of Sacrifice” marks the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj), lasting three to four days. The ritual of the holiday includes a special prayer, during which every Muslim is obliged to slaughter a sheep, cow or camel in memory of how the prophet Abraham (for Muslims Ibrahim) wanted to fulfill God's order and sacrifice his only son to him Isaac (Ismail in Muslims). G-d, seeing Abraham's devotion, sent an archangel with a sacrificial lamb and saved his son. Muslims give the skins of sacrificial animals to the mosque, eat the meat during a communal meal, and also distribute it to the needy. Preparations for the “sacrificial holiday” begin 20 days in advance. People do not wear rich clothes, do not cut their hair or shave. Complex and hearty dishes are not put on the table. If there is an opportunity, some go to Mecca to meet the holiday there. The last 10 days before the holiday are very important. Muslims try to atone for sins, do good deeds, read prayers to Allah. The holiday begins early in the morning. People wash, dress in festive clothes and go to the mosque to pray. In the afternoon, they gather in the square for a sermon, and then go to the graves of deceased relatives and restore order. The sacrifice takes place in the afternoon. In the evening, a festive meal is organized. Many meat dishes are served, which are complemented by vegetable salads, pastries and fruit desserts. Alcohol is prohibited. Part of the food is usually distributed to the needy, the rest is kept for oneself, and the third is given to friends. The exchange of dishes makes the festive table more diverse and is accompanied by the words “Takabbal Allahu Minna wa minkum” (may Allah take from you and from us).