Ukranian soldiers on patrol in eastern Ukraine. Image: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine
When is Defender of Ukraine Day?
How long until Day of the Defender of Ukraine?
|This holiday next takes place in 140 Days.|
Dates of Day of the Defender of Ukraine
|Honours the courage of the defenders of Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity|
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), the Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks, as well as the anniversary of the creation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in 1942. This day has been celebrated by Ukrainian Cossacks since the 17th century.
The holiday is marked by concerts, exhibitions, marches, and festivals across Ukraine.