Public Holidays in Ukraine 2018
To make the most of your visit to Ukraine, you definitely need to prepare and make a plan in advance. And you would probably need to know some small but important for a traveller issues. Like public holidays dates in Ukraine for example.
Public holidays in Ukraine are usually official days-off. On this days, all state institutions, offices of most private companies, many museums are closed. Large stores, shopping centers, other entertainment places usually work, but some of them on a special schedule. People may stay at home and spend time with families or go on a short trip visiting distant relatives or traveling.
There also may be various concerts and fairs, events like running marathons, open air exhibitions, parades and ceremonies of the officials resulting in traffic jam all over the city. On major public holidays the capital of Ukraine is usually overcrowded. Tourists from all over Ukraine come to Kyiv for one or two days to celebrate and have fun.
From my personal tour-guide experience, many foreign tourists feel uncomfortable when the city center is overcrowded. And most likely they would prefer to come after the celebrations in the city finish. Others, on the contrary, would overwhelmingly likely ask me to include into the Kiev private tour visiting various concerts and fairs, festivals, parades which are held on the public holiday.
As a rule, if a public holiday falls on a weekend, a day off will be observed on the following working weekday. Thus, we may even get 3 or 4 days mini vacations.
So, if by any chance you need to plan your trip to Ukraine not during the public holidays, or vice verse, you want to enjoy the festive spirit and mood together with Ukrainians on, check the public holidays 2018 below.
- March 8 – International Women’s Day (Thursday)
In Ukraine this holiday is associated with the oncoming of warm and sunny spring. It is customary to present women with flowers, sweets, chocolates, warm congratulations and many other pleasant gifts. Kindergartens and schools arrange concerts for all mothers and grandmothers. Schoolchildren, students bring flowers or small gifts to their teachers.
- April 8 – Orthodox Easter (Sunday)
One of the greatest holidays for all Ukrainians without a difference whether they are deep religious believers or atheists. “Holiday of all holidays and festivity of all festivities” – this is how Orthodox Christians call Easter. Believers are preparing for the Easter during the seven weeks of fast – one of the most strict fasts. On the Easter holidays, as for Christmas, the whole family should gather, because this is the “Great Day”.
- May 1 – International Solidarity Day of Workers (Tuesday)
A holiday dating back to the Soviet times. With time, May Day lost its initial political and social meaning. For Ukrainians it became an occasion for a picnic passtime with relatives, friends, colleagues, accompanied by delicious and juicy barbecue.
- May 9 – Victory Day (Wednesday)
A major holiday celebrating the victory over Nazi forces in the Second World War. While May 8 is an official Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation in the Second World War. Normally, there are parades and ceremonies resulting in traffic jam all over the city.
- May 27 – Trinity (Sunday)
Orthodox believers and the whole country celebrate the Christian belief of Holy Spirit’s descent on the apostles. This holiday belongs to the most revered holidays of the Orthodox Church. It has a floating date, because it directly depends and is counted from the date of Easter, which is also celebrated on different days each year. So, in 2018, the Orthodox Trinity will be celebrated on May 27.
- June 28 – Constitution Day of Ukraine (Thursday)
The Constitution of Independent Ukraine was adopted on June 28, 1996. This constitution and its adoption established a legal foundation of the independent Ukraine. People usually celebrate this day with festivities including concerts, patriotic parades with bands, and firework shows.
- August 24 – Independence Day of Ukraine (Friday)
One of the main public holidays in Ukraine. Celebrating the Independence Day is one of the best parts about summer. Celebrations usually begin two days before the official date. If you happen to visit Kiev at these days, you will get a chance to spend a wonderful time with Ukrainians, watch fireworks, go to a military parade or attend various concerts and fairs. The President of Ukraine makes a speech relevant to the celebrations. Parades and ceremonies result in traffic jam all over the city.
- October 14 – Defender of Ukraine Day (Sunday)
On this date Ukrainians actually celebrate 3 three great holidays – Cossacks Day, Intercession of the Theotokos or “Pokrova” and Defender of Ukraine Day. “Pokrova” is one of the most significant celebrated Christian holidays. And since 2014, Ukrainians celebrate Defender of Ukraine Day on October 14. Experts from the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance came to the conclusion that this is the best day and historical tradition of honoring the Ukrainian army on the day of the Intercession of the Theotokos.
- December 25 – Christmas, Catholic (Tuesday)
Starting from 2017, Ukraine will celebrate both the Western and Orthodox Christmas. Christmas in Ukraine is usually celebrated with family, over a vegetarian supper with highly traditional food the recipes of which are said to be millennia old.
If a public holiday falls on a weekend
According to order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On transferring working days in 2018”, March 9 (Friday) will also be a holiday. Thus, men will have four days for greeting women from 8 to 11 March.
Four-days vacation are formed on May 1st – from April 28 to May 1 (it is suggested to make April 30 a day off). Same with June 28 – Constitution Day of Ukraine, Ukrainians will get 4 days mini vacation from June 28 to July 1.
On December 24 and 31, 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers also suggests to make these days as days off. So Ukrainians will have public holidays on the Catholic Christmas and the New Year 2019 on the dates – from December 22 to December 25 and from December 29 to January 1.
However, all these holidays and weekends will have to work off on Saturdays. According to the document, the working Saturdays are March 3, May 5, June 23, December 22 and 29. Mind that the National Bank of Ukraine determines a special operation mode of banks on these specified dates.