At the end of August, Kharkivites celebrate two more holidays than other Ukrainians. In addition to the 29th anniversary of the Independence of Ukraine and the National Flag Days, residents celebrated Kharkiv City Day and the 77th anniversary of the City’s Liberation from Nazi occupation.
On the occasion of the 77th anniversary of Kharkiv Liberation Day, the Memorial Complex of Glory hosted remembrance events. In the morning, the flower laying ceremony and praying to the memory of WWII victims took place there. In addition to that, commemorative events and handing out of traditional soldiers’ porridge took place in different city locations.
Annual celebrations dedicated to the National Flag Day of Ukraine was held near the flagpole on Independence Avenue.
On August 24, Kharkiv joined the celebrations of the Independence Day of Ukraine. The festive program started with a flower laying at the Flying Ukraine Monument of Independence. The ceremony was attended by Kharkiv authorities, servicemen in the east of Ukraine, clergy as well as other Kharkiv residents. The Big Slobozhansky Song and Dance Company and the Burevisnyk Folk Dance Troupe performed on the square.
In the evening, Ukrainian patriots held the Independence March in Kharkiv downtown. Veterans of Joint Forces Operation, representatives of civic organizations and Kharkiv residents took part in the event. Participants marched from Maidan Konstytutsii (Constitution Square) to the Taras Shevchenko monument.
The event was led by military combatants who took part in the war in Donbas against Russian occupants and their proxies. They carried a banner with the “No Surrender!” inscription. Kharkivites who joined the march were wearing traditional embroidered shirts called vyshyvankas and carrying Ukrainian flags. According to Kharkiv National Police, about 500 people participated in the event.
Reaching the monument to Taras Shevchenko, the marchers lit yellow and blue flares.
“This traditional march is a significant event in Kharkiv as we have to show we have patriots. Kharkiv is a major Ukrainian city, Ukrainians live here and it is important not to forget it,” noted the event organizer Yurii Lykhota.
On the same day, members of the Yavoryna, the Union of Ukrainian Women, organized a charity fair near Taras Shevchenko monument to raise money for Ukrainian servicemen who fight in the east of Ukraine.
All those who wished to help could buy flags, badges, motanka dolls [Kh.O.: Motanka is one of the oldest symbols of Ukrainian culture which performed an important function of amulet] and other paraphernalia made in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
The items up for sale were made by members of the association. According to Maria Shaposhnikova, the union participant, the fair was attended by a hundred people within one hour. With the raised money, the women are going to purchase tires for vehicles which combatants use to drive at the front zone.
Later, a meeting dedicated to the Independence of Ukraine Day took place near All for the Victory volunteers’ tent on Maidan Svobody (Freedom Square). Participants held blue and yellow flags. Also, everyone could approach the open microphone to greet all comers.
Bohdan, a trader, insisted that Ukrainians should join the celebration to honor our history.
“I decided to come here because today is Independence Day. This is a great holiday for every Ukrainian, so I consider it my duty to communicate with like-minded people. Our country has been fighting for independence for a long time and we need to remember that,” Bohdan added.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: kharkov.comments.ua, objectiv.tv, Suspilne Kharkiv, city.kharkov.ua,