Ukrainian Reunion: a holiday not forgotten

It was on January 22 in 1919 that the two republics making up what is now Ukraine signed the Zluky Act that would merge the two into one, thus uniting the Ukrainian people.

The two republics were the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the West Ukrainian People’s Republic, and the triumphant ceremony took place at St. Sophia Square in Kiev (below).

Signing of the Zluky Act, Jan. 22, 1919

It is a rare holiday in Ukraine in that it does not mark an occasion of sadness, defeat, or bloodshed.

Unfortunately this newfound unity of independence was short lived.

That same year Bolsheviks gained control of the country and declared Ukraine a part of the Federation of Soviet Republics. Thousands of Ukrainians died in the fighting, but this is nothing to the numbers who would perish over a decade later when the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin enforced an unprecedented, massive famine throughout Ukraine killing millions.

On January 22,1990 the Ukrainians celebrated their Reunion Day publicly and proudly for the first time, creating a 300,000 person human chain that stretched from Kiev to Lviv. This show of solidarity hastened the downfall of Soviet influence over Ukraine, which declared its independence in 1991.

“My nation has proved that Ukraine can never be deprived of freedom. It is no longer possible to divide the people into westerners and easterners.”

— announcement on the celebration of the Reunion Day of Ukraine, 2007, decreed by President Viktor Yushchenko

Ukrainian Flag

The Day Ukraine United
Den Sobornosti, or Unity Day
The Ukrainian National Revolution: 1917-1921
належить 22 січня 1919

8 Replies to “Ukrainian Reunion: a holiday not forgotten”

  1. You have an uncommonly strong and balanced grasp of 20th-century history, a horrible piece of history for both Jews and Ukrainians.

    Yes, there is also a history of bad blood between Jews and Ukrainians, and I’m sorry for what some of my people did to your people.

    I can only hope that by accepting each other’s tragic history, we can work together to put that bad blood behind us.

    Thank you for citing my post!

  2. Thanks Tara, your blog is a great site and reference. I love how you sneak in references to Weird Al and Christina Aguilera!

  3. And so is yours!:)

    You really know about the world’s holidays, and you know how to share your knowledge with the world! As for me, I’m just trying to make fun of Ukrainian politics whenever I can.

    And by the way, the name is T-a-r-a-s. It’s a male name:)))

Leave a Reply