In Ukraine, this is a fundamentally new public holiday – Defender of Ukraine Day, designed to replace the previous Day of Defender of the Fatherland, which was celebrated on February 23rd.
Why did the choice fall on this particular date and how did the previous one fail? Finding a replacement for the Day of the Soviet Army and Navy was long and difficult. On December 6, 1993, the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was established. This day is still a working day. The choice of the date was determined by the adoption of the law on the Armed Forces two years earlier – on December 6, 1991.
Armed Forces Day was celebrated with ceremonies, meetings, presentation of state awards, festive concerts, congratulations from the president and fireworks in the hero cities. Nevertheless, the holiday did not become absolutely “national”, remaining narrowly professional. The tradition of congratulating men on February 23, which stretched back from Soviet times, won. Therefore, in 1999, the second president of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, established by his decree the celebration of the Day of the Defender of the Fatherland on February 23.
In 2014, total decommunization and the idea of filling everything and everything with national flavor began to gain momentum. On August 24, 2014, President Petro Poroshenko announced that Defender of the Fatherland Day would no longer be celebrated on February 23rd. In March 2015, the Verkhovna Rada decided to make October 14 a non-working day.
It was this date that was chosen due to the fact that three more significant events fall on this day, directly related to the innovation in the official holiday calendar: this is the Orthodox holiday of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, the Day of the Ukrainian Cossacks and the day of the founding of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.
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