January 22 marks Ukraine’s celebration of the Sobornist Day. This holiday symbolizes unity of the Ukrainian state and has great historical significance.
It was on this day in 1919 that the Act of Unification of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and the West Ukrainian People’s Republic was proclaimed on Sophia Square in Kyiv – a historic act of unification of Ukrainian lands into a single state. And though due to the failures of the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917–1921, statehood could not be preserved, it was a fundamental event for Ukrainian statehood.
The main tradition of the holiday is the “living chain” of unity. The first such mass event took place on January 22, 1990, on the 71st anniversary of the Unification Act. Then over a million people joined hands and formed a continuous chain from Kyiv to Lviv. The event became a bright manifestation of unity and the desire of Ukrainians for freedom. Since then, “living chains” have been created repeatedly in different cities of the country, symbolizing the unity of the Ukrainian people. The slogans of the Sobornist Day became: “Strength in Unity!” or “Stronger together!”.