International Vyshyvanka Day celebrates Ukraine's unique embroidered outfits that have long become one of Ukraine's trademarks.
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.
Read alsoBorsch to become Ukraine's intangible cultural heritage – culture ministerThe 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 class, and in the streets.
Traditionally, festivals, dance shows, marches, and art contests are organized in Ukraine and beyond.
This year, the Day is marked with a focus on Ukrainian ethnic music and environmental protection issues.
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.