Known as 'День незалежності України', this holiday is Ukraine's National Day and is always celebrated on 24 August and marks Ukraine's declaration of independence from the U.S.S.R. in 1991.
The start of the 1990s saw the collapse of the Soviet Union. On 16 July 1990, the Ukrainian government had declared state sovereignty.
In August 1991, there was a failed coup to restore communist rule in the Soviet Union. As a result of the attempted coup and increasing fears about a return to Soviet rule, the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament on 24 August 1991.
A condition of the declaration was that a national referendum should take place on 1 December 1991. Despite outside concerns that the Ukraine could split into east and west, the turnout was over 80% and the result of the referendum was that over 92% voted in favour of their independence.
For some, the referendum of 1 December is seen as a more important date than the declaration of independence as it showed Ukraine's unity in wanting independence.