Ukraine Marks Defender’s Day
The national holiday also coincides with the day to recognize Our Most Holy Lady
Photo from Ukrinform – UATV
On October 14, Ukrainians celebrate Defender Day and Protection of Our Most Holy Lady.
Ukraine’s Defender Day was officially established on October 14, 2014 by presidential decree “in order to honor 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,” reports Ukrinform.
The urgent need for such a national holiday that would replace the Soviet Defender of the Fatherland Day, which was marked on February 23, was particularly acute after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the beginning of hostilities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, when the trends of decommunization, the removal of Soviet symbols, names and holidays and holidays, strengthened in Ukrainian society as a reaction to Russia’s armed aggression.
The date of October 14 was not chosen by chance. On this day, Ukraine also marks Protection of Our Most Holy Lady, the Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks, as well as the anniversary of the creation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). From ancient times, Our Most Holy Lady was a patron of the Ukrainian Cossacks and all Ukrainian armed groups.
Defender Day is a public holiday in Ukraine with schools, banks, government offices and some businesses closed.