With this book we share with you our love of Ukraine! This is neither a guide nor a manual. Rather, it’s an insight into the country we adore – wonderful, fascinating and strange.
This publication is devoted to major historical events, outstanding representations of Ukrainian art, sports, literature, traditions and even, the most beloved dishes of Ukrainian national cuisine.
On January 28, 1992, the Ukrainian national flag was adopted.
It consists of two equally sized blue and yellow stripes and has a width to length ratio of 2:3.
This bicolor flag is not a novelty of independent Ukraine. The blue-yellow color combination has been long used in church ritual decorations and emblems of Slavic lands, princes, nobleman and medieval cities. The Halychyna-Volyn Principality emblem – a gold lion on a blue background that originated in the second half of the 13th century – was based on these colors.
Prior to the 18th century, Ukrainians would represent themselves with flags of different colors and emblems. Throughout the 1700s, the yellow and blue flag was increasingly used by Zaporizhian kozaks and thus became popularized.
In 1917-1920, the blue-yellow flag became the national flag of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and of the Ukrainian state. After the victory of the Bolsheviks, Ukrainians adopted a new flag – a red cloth with gold adornment. In the 20th century, the blue-yellow bicolor became a symbol of the national liberation movement.
After the collapse of the USSR, independent Ukraine returned to its national flag.
Since 2004, Ukraine celebrates this fact with National Flag Day on August 23.
The national emblem of Independent Ukraine is the Tryzub.
Like the majority of heraldic images, it has a complicated, deep and controversial history. The first drawings of the tryzub date back to the times of Trypillian culture. They are found on pottery and symbolize a three-fingered deity.
There are more than forty versions of Tryzub interpretation: from religious symbolism of the Holy Trinity to the symbolism of power and might.
The tryzub, in its contemporary form, was preserved on gold and silver coins of Kyiv Rus Prince Volodymyr the Great (c.958-1015). Many of his descendants also used this heraldic image in their emblems and signs.
The tryzub repeatedly appears throughout Ukrainian history. However, it became the national emblem only in 1918 when it was adopted by the short-lived Ukrainian People’s Republic (1917-1921) as a symbol of the country’s sovereignty.
In 1992, newly independent Ukraine returned to its origins and the tryzub was officially declared the small national emblem of Ukraine.
Unlike many other world currencies, hryvnia as a national currency unit appeared in circulation relatively recently, in September, 1996.
Yet, hryvnia’s history lasted for many centuries. A lot of historians think that this word derives from the Old Slavic “hryvna” – a piece of jewelry in the form of a hoop worn around the neck. Specifically, hryvnas were common among Scythians and early Slavs. In the times of Kyivan Rus a silver bar weighting about 150 grams was called – hryvnia. In different ages hryvnia changed its weight and form, but its most popular example is considered a hexagonal bar that was the main currency in 11th-13th centuries.
Hryvnia was released into circulation in 1918, in the time of Ukrainian People’s Republic. It was in use until 1922, when Ukrainian lands finally fell under Bolshevik control.
From 1992 to 1996, in this complicated and financially unstable time in already independent Ukraine, temporary money – kupon-karbovanets – was introduced. Having taken the major inflationary shock, the kupon-karbovanets gave way to Ukrainian hryvnia.
One hryvnia equals 100 kopiykas. There are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 hryvnia banknotes in circulation, as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 kopiyka and 1 hryvnia coins.
All materials from the book “Awesome Ukraine”, Publishing House “Osnovy”.
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