On October 14, Ukraine celebrates Defenders Day. Defenders Day coincides with the Protection of Ever-Virgin Mary religious holiday, which is widely marked in Ukraine since the 12th century, and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army Day.

Since Middle Ages, Virgin Mary has been considered the patroness of Ukrainian Cossacks and later, the Guardian of all Ukraine’s armed forces.

In 1943, the foundation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which fought against Nazis and Soviets, was proclaimed on October 14.

In 2015, the then president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko declared October 14 to be a bank holiday, Defenders Day.

On this day, Ukrainians honor those who defend the Homeland and commemorate the defenders who gave their lives for the country’s independence.