Tatyana’s Day: A Day for Celebration

Tatyana’s Day, also known as Tatiana’s Day and Students Day, is commemorated in Ukraine every year on 25 January. The day is one of festivities and pleasant memories. This has been the case for more than 250 years, making it a very old and enjoyable tradition.


Tatyana’s Day in Ukraine started many years ago in 1755. That was the day that Ivan Shuvalov’s mistress, Empress Elizabeth of Russia, endorsed Shuvalov’s petition to establish a university in Moscow. Shuvalov didn’t choose January 25 by accident. For many years January 25 (or January 12 on the Julian calendar) was observed as a Russian religious holiday and known as Tatyana Day. The day commemorated the heroic actions of a Christian martyr in 2nd century Rome named Tatiana. Shuvalov chose this day because it was the name day of his mother, Tatiana Rodionovna. Thus it was his aim to honor his mother on this sacred Russian day.

It wasn’t long before Moscow University was built, thus giving the day a link to students and education. Ever since, the day has been centered around young learners and the teachers who work so hard at providing an education for them. Many now know January 25 as ‘Student Day’. However in 1791 The Church of Tatyana the Martyr was opened on the Campus grounds. Thus the original religious link to Student Day has never been lost and so most continue to call January 25 ‘Tatyana’s Day’.

Today Tatyana’s Day in Ukraine is one of celebration and memories. On this day students from around the country remember their best, brightest and most carefree years. Former classmates get nostalgic as they drink and eat together and often times Deans and Principles join in on the fun. Though originally mainly a Russian holiday, many students in the Ukraine have embraced the day as their own. It is a day that celebrates the fire of creativity and the thirst for knowledge. It is a day that all Ukrainian students can identify with as it celebrates the best days of their lives. This is a very special day for all involved and if you are visiting the country you will no doubt find it easy to notice the gaiety of the event.