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Ukrainian Unity Day (Den Sobornosti)




When is the Day of Unity of Ukraine (Den Sobornosti) Celebrated?
The unification of Ukraine was sealed with the Unification Act on January 22, 1919. The Ukrainian People’s Republic and the West Ukrainian People’s Republic decided to unite with the agreement. Since the agreement at St Sophia Square in Kiev each year on January 22, the unification is celebrated and the Day of Unity of Ukraine is also a state holiday.

How does Ukraine celebrate Unification Day?
Each year on January 22, millions gather in the capital city of Kiev, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, and Donetsk, - in places like Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square). The day is celebrated as a state holiday and not as a public holiday. Though for a few years the Ukrainian Unification Day was marked by violent protests against the government, the past years the day has been a peaceful demonstration of the unity in the country. People light candles and form human chains, locking hands and marching peacefully while singing patriotic songs. Students and children paint themselves in yellow and blue – the colors of the national flag and carry the flags through the main centers of the cities. A number of schools and public offices hoist the national flag on the Unification Day.

What is the historic significance of Unification Day in Ukraine?
The Ukrainian People's Republic was formed in 1918 from the part of the Ukrainian land that had initially been part of Russian territory. The West Ukrainian People's Republic which was also initially created in 1918 from the territory which had formerly been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before World War I. The agreement of unification was signed in a ceremony in Kyiv (Kiev) on January 22nd, 1919. In 1990, the day was declared a state holiday. Over 300,000 people joined hands to form a 300-mile long human chain, stretching from the capital city to the city of Lviv.

What does the national flag of Ukraine represent?
The national flag of Ukraine is a blue and yellow ensign and was originally adopted in 1918 by the Ukrainian People’s Republic. During the Soviet erathe red and red-blue flags of the Ukrainian SSR were prevalent. Following the country’s independence in 1992, the blue-yellow flag was adopted again. The flag proportion is 2:3 and the horizontal bands of blue and yellow are equal. The country celebrates Flag Day each year on August 23. The blue in the flag represents the pristine sky, streams, and icy mountains of Ukraine while the yellow represents the agricultural wealth of the golden wheat fields.

Who composed the national anthem of Ukraine?
"Shche ne vmerla Ukraina" - "Ukraine's glory has not yet perished" was adopted as the country's national anthem following its independence in 1992. The lyrics are a modified version of a patriotic poem written by Pavlo Chubynsky in 1862.In 1863, Mykhailo Verbytsky, a Ukrainian composer set the anthem to music. The first choral performance of the national anthem was held in 1864 at the Ukraine Theatre in Lviv.

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