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The World Vyshyvanka Day before full-scale russian invasion, 17 May 2018, the City Garden, Mariupol (temporarily occupied territory by Russia now). Photo above by: Evgeny Sosnovsky

The World Vyshyvanka Day – an international holiday dedicated to preserving the iconic Ukrainian ‎‎embroidered clothes as a symbol of the material and spiritual heritage of the Ukrainian people. Every year ‎‎on the third Thursday in May, Ukrainians and friends of Ukraine from more than 100 countries wear ‎‎vyshyvanka in celebration of this heritage. This year The World Vyshyvanka Day is celebrated on 18th May. ‎

The idea of celebrating this day originated in 2006 at Chernivtsi National University by its student Lesia ‎‎Voroniuk, and gradually became international as The World Vyshyvanka Day.‎


In conditions of war, the second year in a row vyshyvankas ‎are being worn by the Ukrainian soldiers on the ‎‎front lines. The World Vyshyvanka Day is symbolic and ‎Ukrainians, wearing vyshyvankas, ‎declare that ‎‎Ukrainians – brave citizens of the independent ‎state, fighting for their freedom.‎

Embroidery is not only a part of national Ukrainian clothes, it is one of the most recognizable elements of ‎‎Ukrainian heritage, a symbol of freedom and love for Ukraine. Each‎ region of Ukraine has own traditions of ‎‎embroidery, ‎symbolic ornament elements. Ukrainian traditional embroidery has more than 300 stitches ‎‎and 20 techniques. ‎

Vyshyvanka is popular not only on the territory of Ukraine. For many years, embroidered patterns have ‎‎conquered even world catwalks. In 2015, vyshyvanka was recognized as the main ‎trend of the year ‎according to the American Vogue magazine. In 2016, The New York Times also gave this ‎status to the ‎Ukrainian national dress. With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, when the interest in ‎Ukraine and its ‎culture received a new impetus, Ukrainian vyshyvanka again became a trend in the world ‎fashion industry.‎

Every year, politicians and ‎stars from all over the world wear vyshyvanka. Halyna Shunevych, Ukrainian ‎‎designer from Lviv region, creates exclusive embroidery clothing for world leaders. Exclusive ‎vyshyvankas ‎‎are already in the wardrobe of Boris Johnson, the presidents of Poland, Lithuania, ‎Latvia and Estonia. In ‎‎March 2023, vyshyvanka was presented to Mr. Dato’ Seri ‎Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia.‎

‎”Today, vyshyvanka is not only a symbol of Ukraine. This is a symbol of our ‎freedom and identity. Wearing ‎‎vyshyvanka, we show our unity, bravery and ‎beauty of the Ukrainian soul. Next time when we have the ‎opportunity, we will definitely present vyshyvanka to Mr. José Ramos-Horta, The President of the ‎Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste as a sign of gratitude for the ‎‎support of Ukraine.”, – Denys ‎Mykhailiuk, ‎Chargé ‎d’Affaires of Ukraine to Malaysia.‎ ‎

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