Defenders’ Day

Observed annually on October 14th in Ukraine, Defender’s Day is a state holiday that honors all those who have fought for the sovereignty of Ukraine. This holiday was originally known as Defender of Ukraine Day, but the name was changed in 2021 to Defenders and Defendresses of Ukraine Day to honor not only the male defenders of Ukraine but also the female defenders.

Most people refer to this holiday by its shortened name; however, in Ukraine, this day is a public holiday. If the holiday falls on a weekend, it is usually moved to the following Monday.

The History Of Defender’s Day In Ukraine

Defender’s Day is a holiday that replaced Defender of the Fatherland Day, a holiday that was observed on February 23rd and was replaced because it was seen as a Soviet holiday that was no longer applicable to Ukraine. This was especially true with the disputes with Russia over territory in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

On October 14th, 2014, Defender’s Day was established by Presidential decree and later approved by the Ukrainian Parliament. It established October 14th as a day to honor the men and women of Ukraine who have fought heroically to defend their country. It is a day that bolsters patriotism in Ukraine. The date was chosen for this holiday because it marks the Day of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin.

Observing Defender’s Day In Ukraine

This is a holiday that is widely observed in Ukraine with the symbols of the country and various events. Not only is the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag raised on government buildings, but it is also displayed on many businesses and private residences. There are also marches, exhibitions, and festivals traditionally held on this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
Ukraine (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
October 14 Monday
Next year (2025)
October 14 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
October 14 Saturday