Ukrainians celebrate Independence Day on August 24 with festivals and parades. They also have a holiday called Constitution Day on June 28 to commemorate the signing of the Ukrainian constitution in 1996.

Christmas, Easter and Trinity are major religious holidays. Christmas is a joyous day beginning with church attendance. Church services start before midnight on Christmas Eve and go all through Christmas Day. On this day, the father says a traditional Christmas greeting, Khristos Hodyvsya, Christ is Born, which is answered with Slavite Yoho, Let us Glorify Him.

New Year's Day, called Malanka in western Ukraine, is carnival time. This is celebrated on January 13, according to the Julian calendar. While Christmas is a religious event, Malanka is a merry-making celebration. In some communities, Ukrainian professional clubs or youth organizations sponsor a dress-up ball.

People in Kyiv celebrate the city's founding with a colourful spring festival on the last weekend of May. They greet midsummer on June 6 as Ivan Kupallo Day, with ceremonies that date back to pre-Christian times.

Weddings are also important celebrations, and may last several days. The newlyweds may be presented with bread and salt and sometimes wine and honey, which symbolize prosperity, fertility and happiness respectively.

Ukrainian holidays
January 7 Ukrainian Orthodox Christmas Day
January 13  New Year's Day 
March 8 International Women's Day
March/April Easter
May 1-2  Labour Day
May 9  Victory Day
May/June  Trinity Day
June 28  Constitution Day
August 24  Ukrainian Independence Day 
October 28  Liberation (1944) Day 

Did you know? 

The Ukrainian church uses the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar used in Europe and North America. Ukrainians therefore celebrate Christmas Day on January 7, rather than December 25.