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Ukrainian Independence Day Celebrations in Kiev

The Independence Day of Ukraine, celebrated each year on August 24 in commemoration of the Declaration of Independence of 1991, is the main state holiday in modern Ukraine.

The holiday was originally celebrated on July 16, as the first anniversary of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine passed by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) in 1990, but once the Declaration of Independence was passed and confirmed by the referendum of December 01 1991, the date of the holiday was changed to August 24. This year I was lucky enough to be in Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, on Independence Day, and could take part and photograph events throughout the city centre.

In past years, military parades were popular in Kiev, but these have not taken place since 2009. Instead, there are a variety of organised events and festivals throughout the city. People like to dress up in their distinctive national costume and flock to the Maydan Square and adjacent Khreshchatyk Street, which is closed to vehicular traffic for the day. Food and drink stalls are set up, a large stage with a sound and light show hosts music and dancing until late at night, and a number of events are organised to provide fun and entertainment for all the family. This year visitors could witness drift cars and stunt motorbikes, an ice cream festival, teeshirt and face painting, go-kart rides, and even a giant scrap-booking event where visitors could return to their childhood with scissors, glue, and old magazines.

All these images are available for immediate licensing. Please contact me for further details. Many of these images are also available through my news agency Demotix: Ukrainian Independence Day Celebrations in Kiev External link opens a new Browser window.

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