Unity Day in Ukraine Date in the current year: January 22, 2016

Unity Day in Ukraine Ukraine celebrates Unity Day on January 22 each year. It is an official observance, but it is not a public holiday.

In the beginning of the 20th century the modern territory of Ukraine was divided between the Russian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. By 1918, both empires ceased to exist. As a result, two countries proclaimed their independence: the Ukrainian People's Republic (UNR) and the West Ukrainian People's Republic (ZUNR).

On January 22, 1919 the UNR and the ZUNR signed the Unification Act, and a unified Ukrainian state was created. Although subsequently Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union, the Unification Act is recognized as the first step towards the modern Ukrainian state.

Ukraine's Unity Day was first established by President Leonid Kuchma in 1999. In 2011, President Viktor Yanukovych renamed it Day of Unity and Freedom of Ukraine. In 2014, President Petro Poroshenko renamed the holiday back.

On Unity Day, the state flag of Ukraine is raised. Sometimes people create human chains across bridges as a symbol of national unity. Concerts are often held on the occasion. Some people see this day as an opportunity to organize political demonstrations or protest.

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Unity Day in Ukraine, holidays in Ukraine, the Unification Act, official observance, Ukrainian holidays