Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language: History, Traditions and Features of the Holiday

Author : News Agency

The holiday is marked annually on November 9
08:30, 9 November 2019

Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language
112 Agency

Ukraine annually marks the Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language on November 9. According to the Orthodox calendar, it is a day of commemoration of the Reverend Nestor the Chronicler - a follower of the creators of Slavic writing Cyril and Methodius. And the main tradition of the holiday is the national radio dictator for all comers. Now, let's take a closer look.

History of the holiday

Up to this day, scientists have been researching the origins of Ukrainian writing. There is a version that there were several of its variants across the territory of Ukraine. In the Circum-Pontic area, people used an alphabet that looked similar to Greek and Latin ones, and in eastern regions, Sarmatian badges that had similarities to the Georgian alphabet were applied.

National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Modern literary Ukrainian language appeared in the XVIII century. Kotlyarevsky's "Aeneid" is considered to be the first piece written with the use of it. But Taras Shevchenko was the one who consolidated Ukrainian spoken language in the literary works.

On November 9, 1997, President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma issued a decree marking the Day of Ukrainian Writing and Language in support of public organizations’ initiative and considering the important role of Ukrainian language in the process of Ukrainian society's consolidation.

Special features of its celebration

There used to be a tradition, according to which parents took their children to school on this day and then went to church to put a candle in front of the Nestor Chronicler’s image and pray that he would help the child with his education.

Traditionally, on the Day of Ukrainian Writing and Languages, people lay flowers at the Nestor Chronicle’s monument, celebrate the best popularizers of Ukrainian word and encourage publishers, who publish literature in Ukrainian language. There is also International Competition in the Ukrainian language named after Petro Yatsyk that starts on November 9.


First, participants compete at the school level. After that, there are district level, regional level, and the final stage is the national level. Foreigners who speak Ukrainian can also participate in the competition. Winners receive valuable gifts and cash prizes.

Since 2000, on November 9, Ukrainian Radio broadcast live an All-Ukrainian Dictation of National Unity, which can be written by anyone. 

The number of participants in the speech flash mob is growing with each year. Traditionally, well-known people, politicians, artists, schoolers, and students are involved in writing dictation.

Some interesting facts about Ukrainian language

Up to the middle of the 19th century, Ukrainian language was often called "Russian".

There are many synonyms in Ukrainian language. For example, the word "горизонт" (horizon - ed.) has 12 synonyms.

Shevchenko's "Testament" is a literary work that has been translated into 147 languages.

In Ukrainian language, the largest number of words begins with the letter "П". The least used letter of Ukrainian alphabet is the letter "Ф".

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