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Ukrainians celebrate Vyshyvanka Day
10:16, 17 May 2018

Ukrainians celebrate Vyshyvanka Day

It was one student’s idea to mark the day of Ukrainian national clothes but now the entire world celebrates it; a number of events will take place in the country on this day

10:16, 17 May 2018

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Do not be surprised if today in a public transport, university or office you see a lot of people in embroidered clothes: on May 17, Ukrainians around the world celebrate Vyshyvanka Day. This holiday, which has neither religious nor state background, has grown to a large-scale event in recent years. Read all you need to know about the Vyshyvanka Day further:

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.

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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.

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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.

Main 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.

Related: Director of Russian spirits company tries to take over Vyshyvanka Run

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.

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Among them are concerts, marches, lecture halls, exhibitions, and flash mobs.

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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.

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A garment factory sewed a huge embroidered shirt (4X10 m) for the central building of Chernivtsi University.

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In 2012, a tradition appeared to give the embroidered shirts to newborns in maternity hospitals. The action has received the name ‘Newborns in vyshyvanka’.

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In 2013, in Chernivtsi city, 680 people in national clothes formed a mass "live" coat of arms sized 34X8 m.

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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.

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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.

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Related: The New York Times names Ukrainian vyshyvanka  to be the main fashion trend in summer 2016

Events planned for Vyshyvanka Day 2018

In the city the day was born, on May 17, there will be ethnic shows, charity fairs, master-classes, the opening of the mural ‘Zastanivska beauty’. A number of vyshyvanka will be given to the maternity homes and people will also be able to visit the presentation of a book of Ivan Dyachuk ‘Vyshyvanka for a cyborg.’ The events in Chernivtsi will last from 9:00 am till the evening.

In Kropyvnytsky the action ‘A wreath of unity’ will start at 11:00 am on May 17. And on May 19 at 10:00, a festival ‘Eurofest-2018’ will take place on Maidan Heroes square. This festival will be organized for the Day of Europe in Ukraine.

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In Khmelnytsky, the celebration of Vyshyvanka Day will start at 10:00 am in a perinatal center where the embroidered shirts will be presented to the newborns. At 13:00 on the Independence Day students will make a flash-mob ‘Podillya ornament.’ At 16:00 there will be a contest ‘Mini Mister and Miss Vyshyvanka’ and in the evening at the national university stadium, the season of ‘Cinema in the open air’ will be officially opened.

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In Zhytomyr, ‘March in vyshyvanka’ is planned for 18:00 and at 19:00 a concert will take place. There will be fairs of national clothes and accessories, as well as the drawing of gifts.

A number of events will take place in other cities. A campaign ‘Newborns in vyshyvanka’ will be held not only in Ukraine but also in Canada, Turkey, Australia, Croatia, Thailand.

In the airports and at the checkpoints, the booklets about a holiday will be distributed.

Fashion for vyshyvanka in Ukraine and the world

Ukrainian vyshyvanka in recent years has become not only a national brand, but also a world one, having settled in the wardrobes of the famous sportsmen, actors and singers. You can see it more often at the fashion shows. Celebrities wear the embroidered shirt both on the stage and in their daily life. 

Ukrainian celebrities in vyshyvanka:

World stars in vyshyvanka:

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