Ukrainian Refugees in York Embrace Vyshyvanka Day, Celebrating National Dress
In a vibrant celebration, hundreds of Ukrainian refugees residing in York have united to commemorate an age-old tradition that honors their homeland’s national dress.
Vyshyvanka Day, observed on the third Thursday of every May, is dedicated to donning traditional Ukrainian embroidered garments known as vyshyvanka. Joining this celebration, Ukrainian community members settled in the city will partake in festivities held at York’s Merchant Taylors’ Hall.
Organizers, including York City of Sanctuary, Merchant Taylors York, and the York Ukrainian Society, have diligently planned the event over the course of several months. Rebecca Russell, one of the organizers representing York City of Sanctuary, expressed the warm reception that Ukrainian refugees have received within the community. The celebration in the city provides an opportunity for Ukrainians to share their rich cultural heritage with the local population.
While acknowledging the gravity of the situation that brought them to York—the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February of the previous year—Ms. Russell emphasized that the event aims to offer a moment of respite and enjoyment. It serves as a reminder that amidst the pain and horror experienced, there is still joy in life.
The festive gathering will feature a Vyshyvanka parade, an embroidery exhibition, as well as music and entertainment. Notably, special permission has been granted for Ukrainian actors to perform, enhancing the cultural experience.
According to government statistics, since the onset of the war last year, approximately 1,267 Ukrainians have chosen North Yorkshire as their new home. Nationally, over 117,000 Ukrainians have resettled in the UK through the dedicated resettlement scheme.