The Day of Vyshyvanka, which this year falls on May 16, has one distinct feature. Every year, its scale increases, and it attracts more and more people not only in Ukraine but also in different countries of the world.
And on the day of the holiday, we can see a lot of people dressed in embroidered clothes in quite different places: on the street, in transport, at work.
This does not unexpected or unusual anymore since Vyshyvanka Day has firmly rooted in the cultural life of our country. And this is how it happened...
When is Vyshyvanka Day marked?
The World Vyshyvanka Day does not have a fixed date, it is celebrated annually on the third Thursday of May. Thursday was not chosen randomly. Its founders insisted that the holiday falls on a working day, instead of the day off.
Before this day, the Grand Lent, Easter, May 1, 8 and 9 are also over so all attention is focused solely on the embroidery. And the warm weather, which usually comes in mid-May is a big plus too: you can dress up in vyshyvanka without any fears to catch a cold.
How is Vyshyvanka Day originated?
This holiday is young because it appeared relatively recently - in 2006. Its founder is the student of the Chernivtsi National University Lesya Voroniuk.
It was she, who proposed her classmates and students to choose a day and put on vyshyvankas. She was inspired, by the way, by another student Ihor Zhytariuk, who regularly came to classes in the embroidered clothes.
At first, Lesya's initiative was picked up by several students and teachers, but during the next few years, the festival gained all-Ukrainian scale, the diaspora and supporters of Ukraine joined in as well. In general, the initiative is supported in at least 60 countries around the world.
Idea of Vyshyvanka Day
The purpose of the holiday is to preserve and popularize folk traditions of creating and wearing embroidered Ukrainian clothes. It does not have any obligatory requirements, except for putting on the vyshyvanka. However, annually the number of events timed to this day is growing.
How is Vyshyvanka Day celebrated?
A lot of events related to Ukrainian culture and vyshyvankas take place on this day in Ukraine and in a number of other states.
Among them are concerts, marches, lecture halls, exhibitions, and flash mobs.
For example, in 2011 the largest number of people wearing vyshyvanka in one place were recorded. 4,000 people gathered on the central square in Chernivtsi city in the embroidered clothes.
In 2012, a tradition appeared to give the embroidered shirts to newborns in maternity hospitals. The action has received the name ‘Newborns in vyshyvanka’.
In 2013, in Chernivtsi city, 680 people in national clothes formed a mass "live" coat of arms sized 34X8 m.
Celebration in the city lasted all day long. At the charity fair of sweets, 600 dollars were gathered and given later to the children with oncological diseases.
In 2015, the action ‘Give vyshyvanka to the defender’ appeared joined by 38 countries of the world. Several hundred shirts were handed over to the Anti-Terrorist Operation fighters in the Donbas area.
Events planned for Vyshyvanka Day 2019
A large-scale embroidery show called Vyshyvanka Day will be held in Kyiv.
In Lviv, for the fourth time, there will be a big Vyshyvanka Festival, which will begin with a solemn mass procession.
In Zaporizhia there will be a colorful parade of Vyshyvanka, and in Kharkiv they are going to put a record on the mass performance of Hopak dance. It is expected that it will be performed simultaneously by more than 400 people. In total, more than 2,000 people are to take part in the event.
Day of Vyshyvanka will also be celebrated in Poltava, Zhytomyr, Dnipro and many other cities of Ukraine.