Ukraine’s Independence Day: History, traditions, celebration

08:00, 24 August 2020 – 112 UA

Ukrainian Independence Day is celebrated annually on August 24.

Ukraine celebrates its Independence Day on August 24. It is a public holiday established in honor of the adoption of the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine by the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR. On this day, mass events and festivities are usually held throughout the country. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus epidemic, the celebrations will not be so big-scale this year.

In addition, due to the holiday, in 2020, Ukrainians will have three days off in a row: August 22, 23 and 24.

History of the holiday

In July 1990, the Parliament of the-then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic approved the Declaration of the State Sovereignty of Ukraine. The Ukrainian national flag was hoisted over the Parliament’s building in Kyiv on that day. So, the Independence Day was supposed to be marked annually on July 16, the day when the declaration was passed. 

In March 1991, the All-Union referendum to save the Soviet Union took place. Over 80 percent of Ukrainians agreed that the country should remain in the Union, enjoying the rights defined by the Declaration of Independence.

In August 24, 1991, the Paliament passed the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine. The country was officially proclaimed an independent democratic state. “Since the moment of declaration of independence, the only documents acting on the terriroty of Ukraine is the Constitution, the laws, government decrees and other legislative acts of the Republic”, the Act said. 

A referendum on the Act of Declaration of Independence was held in Ukraine on 1 December 1991. An overwhelming majority of 92.3% of voters approved the Act of declaration of independence. In June 1992, the Parliament voted for the amendment in the legislative framework, according to which July 16 was officially replaced by August 24 as Ukraine’s Independence Day. So, since 1992, the holiday has been celebrated annually on August 24.

Celebration of Independence Day

The main festivities at the state level take place in Kyiv, where the President of Ukraine usually holds a solemn reception for Independence Day. Also, the top officials of the state lay flowers at the monuments of prominent Ukrainians and participate in the prayer for Ukraine, which is traditionally held in St. Sophia of Kyiv with the participation of representatives of all confessions in Ukraine.

A number of thematic, cultural events, exhibitions and others events related to the holiday are expected to take place this year.

Military parade?

There will be none in 2020.

Before, over the past few years, the parades would always be held in Kyiv on August 24. However, last year it was without military equipment and it was called the Procession of Dignity.

This year, the March of the Defenders of Ukraine was announced. It is NOT an event of Office of the President, but a kind of alternative to the parade on Khreshchatyk Street. It is expected that around 50 thousand people would attend it.


  1. I won’t celebrate this year, because Maidan has been betrayed by the current government, the shittiest government of all time. But i have Putin Huylo beer and fireworks on stock, for the day Zelensky is finally gone! Slava Ukraini!

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