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Defender of Ukraine Day: Everything about this national holiday

Author : 112.ua News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

Day of the Defender of Ukraine and Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks is celebrated on October 14
08:00, 14 October 2019

112 Agency

On October 14, Ukraine marks the Defender of Ukraine Day. This is a day of honouring the courage and heroism of defenders of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Since 2015, this day is a day off. In addition, the holiday coincides with the Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks and the Protection of the Holy Virgin.

History of the holiday

In 2014, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko set in his decree a new date for the Day of Defender of Ukraine for October 14, 2014. This date was established instead of the holiday of Defender of the Fatherland Day, which was celebrated on February 23 and was eventually canceled.

A year later, on March 5, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a law under which October 14 became a state holiday and a day off.

"On October 14, the Pokrova of the Holy Mother (Protection of the Holy Virgin) was a festive day for the defenders of the Fatherland since the Cossack times, so, last year, deliberately striking out artificially brought to us holiday of the Russian occupation army from the Ukrainian calendar, I, naturally, choose October 14 " Petro Poroshenko said.

On this day, October 14, Ukraine celebrates Protection of Mother of God, the Day of Defender of Ukraine, Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks and the anniversary of Ukrainian Insurgent Army. The Feast of the Holy Protectress is the first of the four important memorable events in the history of the country. All four holidays are closely connected to each other. 

Defender of Ukraine Day in Kyiv in 2019

On this holiday, many events will be held in the capital: prayer services, exhibitions, concerts and other patriotic events.

In particular, on October 1, the photo exhibition “Ukrainian soldiers in the Anti-Terrorist Operation / Joint Forces Operation area” was opened at Yaroslav the Wise National Library of Ukraine, and it will last until October 30.

On October 7 - 13, a patriotic program “For Ukraine, for its freedom, honor and glory, for the people” will be held at Ukrainian Folk Decorative Art Museum.

Also, an exhibition is planned at the Museum of Kyiv History on the Day of Defender of Ukraine from October 10 to 27.

From October 10 - 30, the exhibition "Cossack Glory is Immortal" will be held at the National Kyiv Fortress Museum.

On October 14, a festive event for the Day of Defender of Ukraine is planned near Kyiv City State Administration.

An art project “Courageous and Indestructible” will take place in the art complex Spivoche Pole (Singing Field) on October 14 from 1 p.m to 5 p.m.  

Palace of Sports will host a gala night dedicated to the Day of Defender of Ukraine.

On October 1, an exhibition of archival documents was opened in the reading hall of Kyiv State Archives, and it will last until October 14.

In October, off-site concert programs in military units are planned for the Day of Defender of Ukraine as  a part of the project “We Are Together.”

In addition, on the occasion of the Defender of Ukraine Day, certain categories of Kyiv residents will be provided with one-time financial assistance.

Day of Ukrainian Cossacks

This day was defined “considering historical meaning and achievements of Cossacks in establishing of Ukrainian statehood and essential contribution in the modern process of state-building.”

The celebration of the Day of Ukrainian Cossacks coincides with the holiday of Pokrova. For centuries, the Mother of God was considered the protector of all Ukrainian Cossacks. And Zaporozhian Sich Cossacks built a church in honor of the Pokrova of Virgin Mary with her icon. By the way, on this very day, the Cossacks gathered the Great Council on which they chose hetmans and decided further military plans.

It is interesting that the Cossacks deeply and sincerely revered the Intercession of the Mother of God, believed in its power and solemnly celebrated it and because of that another name of the feast appeared – Cossack’s Pokrova.

Anniversary of creation of Ukrainian Insurgent Army

The tradition to celebrate Ukrainian Insurgent Army anniversary was introduced by Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko in 2005.

Since 2015, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army soldiers have gained the status of fighters for Ukraine’s independence in the 20th century.

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