Dignity And Freedom Day

Dignity and Freedom Day is a national holiday observed in Ukraine on the 21st of November each year. This holiday marks the anniversary of the 2013-2014 pro-European Union mass protests and was established by President Petro Poroshenko. The holiday combines two events that have recently taken place in Ukrainian history.

The first one was the 2004 Orange Revolution, and the second one was the aforementioned 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity Protests. Because this is a public holiday, it is a day off for the general population, and many government offices and schools are closed for the day.

The History of Dignity and Freedom Day in Ukraine

On November 13th, 2014, this holiday was established by presidential decree. It honors two events in modern Ukrainian history: the 2004 Orange Revolution and the 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity. Freedom Day was the previous holiday that celebrated the Orange Revolution, and it was observed on the 22nd of November from 2005 to 2011. However, it was later canceled when that celebration was merged into this holiday celebration.

On November 21st, 2013, Ukrainians began to hold protest rallies in response to their government’s decision to halt the country’s progress towards European integration. This change in the country’s priorities, made by the legislature, triggered the anger of many Ukrainians.

Many Ukrainians took to the streets to protest their country’s perceived drift towards authoritarianism and corruption. Although it started with peaceful student gatherings, there were many tragic events that also occurred on this day, leading to over 2,000 people being wounded and 106 people dying.

This was followed by Russian military aggression and the occupation of Crimea and the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk by pro-Russian forces. An agreement was reached, and the government made concessions to the protesters. Even so, President Viktor Yanukovych and his officials fled the country, and Oleksandr Turchynov became the acting president.

Observing Dignity and Freedom Day in Ukraine

This is a day on which people remember the two events memorialized by this holiday and spend time with their loved ones.

Where is it celebrated?
Ukraine (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 21 Thursday
Next year (2025)
November 21 Friday
Last year (2023)
November 21 Tuesday