February in Ukraine: Many holidays, no days off

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

February is one of the most working periods of the year: 20 days for work and only eight days for recreation
11:15, 1 February 2019

112 Agency

Today is February 1, so let us see a detailed map of weekends, holidays, and memorable dates of the winter’s last month.

February is the shortest month of the year. The year 2019 is not a leap year, that is, this month has 28 days.

February is one of the most working periods of the year: 20 days for work and only eight days for rest. None of the great public holidays (that is, additional days off) are scheduled for February.

Nevertheless, despite such a working atmosphere, February has many warm and pleasant holidays; these are at least four important events.

February 5 - Chinese New Year

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Ukrainians have already celebrated the New Year twice, on January 1st and 14th (following the Orthodox Julian calendar), and they have not time to relax: soon it can be done for the third time, because Chinese New Year, which coincides with the February new moon, starts February 5 in Asia (February 4 in the west) and rings in the Year of the Pig.

Each year of the Chinese lunar calendar is represented by one of 12 animal symbols of the Chinese zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep (Goat), Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar. For this year, it’s the Pig’s turn. Pig is not thought to be a smart animal in China. It likes sleeping and eating and becomes fat. Thus it usually features laziness and clumsiness. On the positive side, it behaves itself, has no plan to harm others, and can bring affluence to people. Consequently, it has been regarded as wealth.

Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally last 15 days, from the first day (during a new moon) to the 15th day (next full moon). Each day holds a special significance that varies according to local traditions. But first, before the arrival of the new year, homes are thoroughly cleaned to sweep away ill fortune and to welcome good luck. On New Year’s Eve, there are family gatherings to celebrate and enjoy sumptuous traditional feasts and to greet the new year with fireworks at midnight.

Related: About 1 million people were recorded at Ukrainian border during New Year holidays

February 14 - Valentine's Day

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Valentine's Day is named after Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in Rome in the 3rd Century. There are many stories about St Valentine and over time these stories grew into the legend we know today.

Valentine's Day is most commonly associated with romantic love, with millions of Valentine's Day cards being exchanged each year. Gifts of flowers or a single red rose are sent with romantic messages to loved ones and couples spend special time together. Valentine's Day gift hampers are also a popular gift and typically include flowers, champagne, and chocolates.

While Valentine's Day is celebrated in most countries, in some of them it is observed as a day for expressing love between family members and friends, rather than that of romantic couples.

February 15 - Day of honoring veterans, who fought on the territory of other countries

Immediately after Valentine's Day, Ukraine honors war veterans, who fought on the territory of the other states.

This memorable date was established 14 years ago by Ukraine’s second president Leonid Kuchma. It was not chosen by chance. On this day, a part of the Ukrainian society has unofficially celebrated the anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.


Related: Army, children and hugs: December holidays in Ukraine

However, this day is not only for the Afghan veterans. After World War II, the Ukrainian military took part in 24 local wars and armed conflicts in the territory of 16 foreign states.

February 20 - Day of Heavenly Hundred Heroes

In addition to the Day of honoring "international veterans," February 20 is another important memorable day.

It was established by Ukraine’s President Poroshenko "to perpetuate great human, civil and national courage and dedication, fortitude and perseverance of citizens, thanks to which the course of our state’s history was changed, worthy of the heroes of the Heavenly Hundreds who gave their lives during Revolutions of dignity (November 2013 - February 2014), defending the ideals of democracy, human rights and freedoms, and Ukraine’s European future." That is the day of memory of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes.

February 20, 2014, during the European Revolution in Kyiv, the power units of Yanukovych’s regime shot the protesters. In total, there were up to one hundred victims a day, which was later called the Heavenly Hundred.

Verkhovna Rada adopted a resolution “On condemning the use of violence, which led to the death of Ukraine’s civilians,” a number of government officials announced that they were on the side of the people. This was a turning point in the events of the Revolution of Dignity.

Related: Ukraine celebrates national holiday - National Flag Day

In addition, February has more than a dozen professional and slightly less popular international and worldwide holidays. In particular:

February 4 – World Cancer Day;

February 5 – Day of Safe Internet;

February 6 – International Bartender's Day;

February 9 – International Dentist Day;

February 11 – World Day of the Sick;

February 13 – World Radio Day;

February 14 – Day of the programmer;

February 15 – International Childhood Cancer Day;

February 17 – Day Random Kindness Acts;

February 20 – World Day of Social Justice;

February 21 – International Mother Language Day;

February 22 – International Day for the support of victims of crime;

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We also should not forget about one more important holiday, Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, which is celebrated on February 15. Another name for the feast is The Meeting of our Lord.

When Jesus was forty days old, Mary and Joseph took Him to the Temple in Jerusalem. They were not wealthy, so they took two turtle doves with them to offer as a sacrifice at the Temple. As they arrived at the Temple, Mary and Joseph were met by a very old man named Simeon. He was a holy man and was noted as a very intelligent scholar. Simeon spent much time studying about the prophets of Israel. It was during his studies that he learned of the coming of the Messiah. The Jewish people were waiting for the Messiah to come and deliver Israel from their conquerors. From that time on, Simeon spent his time praying for the Messiah to come. He spent many years in prayer. Finally, while Simeon was praying he heard the voice of God. God promised Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. Also, in the Temple was Anna the Prophetess. She had been a widow for many years. Anna was about eighty-four years old and spent her time in the Temple worshiping, fasting, and praying. When she saw the Christ Child she praised God and spoke of him to all who were awaiting the Messiah. After Jesus was presented in the Temple, the family returned to Galilee to the town of Nazareth. The Bible tells us that Jesus grew and became strong, and was filled with wisdom.

Related: Presentation of Jesus at the Temple in Ukraine: traditions of the holiday's celebration

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