Day of the Defender in Ukraine in 2019

Day of the Defender in Ukraine in 2019
Ukranian soldiers on patrol in eastern Ukraine Image by Taras Gren , via Ministry of Defense of Ukraine
  How long until Day of the Defender?
This holiday next takes place in 24 days.
  Dates of Day of the Defender in Ukraine
2021 Ukraine Thu, Oct 14 National Holiday
2020 Ukraine Wed, Oct 14 National Holiday
2019 Ukraine Mon, Oct 14 National Holiday
2018 Ukraine Mon, Oct 15 National Holiday
2017 Ukraine Mon, Oct 16 National Holiday
Honours the courage of the defenders of Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity

When is Defender of Ukraine Day?

Defender of Ukraine Day is a state holiday in Ukraine observed on 14th October. If 14th October falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday.

This holiday honours and pays tribute to all those who have fought and continue to fight for the state sovereignty of Ukraine.

History of Defender of Ukraine Day

A Presidential decree, later approved by the Ukrainian parliament, established this day as a public holiday on 14 October 2014, "in order to honour the courage and heroism of the defenders of Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity, military traditions and victories of the Ukrainian people, foster the further strengthening of patriotic spirit in society and support the initiative of the Ukrainian public." The slogan of the holiday is "Strength of the unbowed".

Defender of the Ukraine Day replaces Defender of the Fatherland Day which was observed on 23rd February. The older holiday was seen as a Soviet holiday and no longer seen as appropriate to celebrate given the ongoing disputes with Russia over territory in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

The date of 14th October was chosen as on this day, Ukraine marks the Day of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin (the Intercession of the Theotokos).

According to Eastern Orthodox Sacred Tradition, an apparition of Mary the Theotokos occurred during the 10th century at the Blachernae church in Constantinople (Istanbul) where several of her relics (her robe, veil, and part of her belt) were kept.

During the early morning of Sunday, 1st October, St. Andrew of Constantinople, who was a Slav, saw the Virgin Mary enter the church, surrounded by angels and saints. She knelt and prayed with tears. At this time, the people in the city were threatened by an invasion by the fleet of the pagan Rus. After the appearance of the Mother of God, the danger was averted and the city was spared from bloodshed.

The Feast of the Intercession commemorating the miracle is a feast day of the Byzantine Rite Eastern Orthodox Churches. In Ukraine, it is celebrated on 14th October, which corresponds to 1st October on the Julian calendar used in some Eastern Orthodox Churches.

The Mother of God as the Intercessor and Patron became firmly established among Ukrainians from at least the 17th century with royalty and cossacks choosing the Virgin Mary as their patron and protector.

In 1999, By decree of the Ukrainian President, 14th October was promulgated as Ukrainian Cossack Day.

14th October is also the anniversary of the creation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in 1942.

The holiday is marked by concerts, exhibitions, marches, and festivals across Ukraine.

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