Vyshyvanka Day this year falls on May 21 and has one peculiarity. Every year its scale increases, and it attracts the attention of more and more people not only in Ukraine but also in different countries.
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...
How is Vyshyvanka Day originated?
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.
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.
What do Vyshyvanka's colors symbolize?
There are 6 main colors in vyshyvankas:
- Red. It symbolizes joy and love for man and life. Children's and women's embroidered shirts are often decorated with red embroidery.
- Blue. It symbolizes physical and spiritual purity. Blue embroidery is most often present on men's and children's embroidered shirts.
- Black. This color symbolizes the earth, its fertility.
- Golden (yellow). This color is a symbol of prosperity, wealth, wellbeing and joy.
- Green. This is a feminine color. It symbolizes youth, spring, serenity and beauty.
- White. It symbolizes innocence and purity. Previously, only unmarried girls could wear white embroidery.
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 (in conditions of lockdown, it will not be marked on a large scale).
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.