Nation code: Ukrainians celebrate Vyshyvanka Day
Vyshyvanka Day was first celebrated in 2006 on the initiative of Lesia Voroniuk, a student at Chernivtsi University.
The idea started off as a student event to honor Ukraine's heritage and promote traditional Ukrainian values and symbols among the youths. To relate to the event, on a particular day, participants were invited to sport vyshyvankas at the university.
The event went viral and rapidly gained recognition across Ukraine, eventually sparking the move to mark Vyshyvanka Day at a national level and beyond, on the third Thursday of May.
On this day, people show off their vyshyvankas at work, in classes and simply in the streets.
Festivals, dance shows, marches, and various art contests are organized in Ukraine and all over the world.
Today, Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky posted on Instagram a selfie showing him sporting a vyshyvanka. The caption to the photo says: "Happy Vyshyvanka Day! Didn't forget my vyshyvanka but forgot to shave! Don't forget to congratulate others."
On the 5th anniversary of the holiday, in 2011, Chernivtsi got into the Guinness Book of Records by the number of people sporting vyshyvankas at a single location. Some 4,000 people gathered in the central square of the city to express their respect for the holiday.
Each region's vyshyvankas have their peculiar symbols and traditional colors used. For example, residents of Poltava region fancy white embroidery, in Bukovyna they tend to go for bright colors, while Ternopil people prefer vyshyvankas with black ornaments.
These days, Ukrainians wear vyshyvankas, as a symbol of their national identity, at many state and religious holidays, political and cultural events, and special family celebrations – baptism ceremonies, weddings, and birthday parties.
Today, artists, athletes, politicians and even Hollywood celebs show increasing interest in Ukrainian vyshyvankas.