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Ukraine celebrates Europe Day: how the holiday came to be and why the date has changed

Anna OnishchenkoNews
Ukraine celebrates Europe Day on May 9. Source: freepik.com

May is a month rich in various holidays. This year, in addition to Easter, Mother's Day, Embroidery Day, etc., Ukraine will also celebrate Europe Day.

As Ukraine's course towards European integration has long been focused on, this holiday is important and symbolic for all citizens. Read more about the history, traditions and date of this day in the OBOZ.UA article.

History of Europe Day

The history of this holiday dates back to 1949, when the Council of Europe was founded - an organization that unites 47 European countries and aims to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Therefore, Europe Day was originally celebrated on May 5.

However, later the date was moved to May 9 in honor of the fact that in 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed to create a new form of organization of European states.

Ukraine celebrates Europe Day: how the holiday came to be and why the date has changed

Europe Day in Ukraine

Ukraine first celebrated Europe Day in 2003. It was then established that this holiday would fall annually on the third Saturday of May. However, in 2022, there were proposals to celebrate this day on May 9.

This initiative was supported, and therefore, starting in 2023, Ukrainians will celebrate Europe Day together with other European countries.

Celebration traditions

May 9 is considered a kind of birthday of the European Union, so people start decorating cities with flags, and tours are held in the buildings of institutions, allowing citizens to visit the places where important political and economic decisions are made. There are also educational events about the EU and speeches in support of European integration.

Each country also has its own unique traditions of celebrating this day. For example, Germany organizes a European week, Poland holds the Schumann parade, and for Ukraine, Europe Day is not only a holiday but also an opportunity to demonstrate its European identity and aspirations for EU membership.

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