Vyshyvanka Day, sometimes referred to as World Vyshyvanka Day, is a Ukrainian holiday celebrated on the third Thursday of May. On this day, thousands of Ukrainians across the world wear vyshyvankas (traditional embroidered shirts) to demonstrate their national identity and patriotism.
The word “vyshyvanka” is derived from the Ukrainian word for embroidery, “vyshyvka”. Embroidery has a rich history in Ukraine and occupies an important place among Ukrainian decorative arts. Ukrainian embroidery varies from region to region. Although red and black are the most common colors of Ukrainian embroidery, other color schemes such as red and blue, white on white and a combination of several bright colors are popular in specific regions.
According to Ukrainian tradition, vyshyvanka is more than just an embroidered shirt. It is a talisman that is supposed to protect the wearer from evil spirits. Historically, embroidery was used in the places on the garment where evil spirits could potentially enter the person: back, hem, shoulders, cuffs, and neckline.
Vyshyvanka Day was initiated in 2006 by Lesia Voroniuk, a student at the Yurii Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University. She was inspired by a fellow student who often wore vyshyvanka to class. Voroniuk thought it would be great to have a day when all students come to class in vyshyvankas to celebrate Ukrainian culture.
What started as a local initiative has since become a nationwide celebration. In 2015, Vyshyvanka Day was celebrated in all major cities of Ukraine, as well as in over 50 countries with a Ukrainian diaspora. On this day, Ukrainian across the world, regardless of their place of residence, first language or religion, wear vyshyvankas to show off their national identity.
Although Vyshyvanka Day is not a non-working holiday, it is celebrated in many Ukrainian cities with various activities and events such as parades, concerts, markets and fairs, exhibitions, contests and competitions, and more. These events are aimed to preserve and promote Ukrainian culture and values among the younger generation.
The Chernobyl NPP traditionally celebrates the Vyshyvanky Day.
Despite the not quite favorable weather conditions, the employees still came to work in embroidery and met this holiday near the Prometheus monument opposite APK-1.
Let’s remind you that for the first time CHAES celebrated the Vyshyvanka Day in 2018 when more than 60 employees in traditional Ukrainian shirts gathered in the exclusion zone and in the city of Slavutich.
Since you’re here…
Contamination Zone is a group of people who are united by our love for the Chernobyl Zone. We are a non-profit organisation and every year we raise thousands of euros for good causes in the Chernobyl Zone, such as firefighting equipment, monument restoration, animal welfare and more.