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ATTITUDE OF UKRAINIANS TO THE HOLIDAYS OF MAY 1 (LABOR DAY) AND MAY 9 (VICTORY DAY)

The press release was prepared by Volodymyr Paniotto

 

The research showed that, in general, Ukrainians treat holidays with love and respect, only 2% of respondents do not treat any official holidays as important or favorite.

The majority of the population of Ukraine (approximately 70%) celebrates Easter and Christmas as the most popular holidays, followed by the Independence Day of Ukraine (63%) and the Day of Defenders of Ukraine (54%).

The attitude towards Labor Day on May 1 from 2010 to 2021 did not change significantly, it was one of the least popular holidays, only 12% of Ukrainians in 2010 and the same number in 2021 considered it the most important or favorite. In 2023, the number of supporters of this holiday fell to 5% and it is now the least favorite holiday among Ukrainians.

The attitude towards Victory Day on May 9 has undergone significant changes. In 2010, it was one of the most important holidays, 58% of the population thought so. By 2021, its popularity had halved and only 30% considered it the most important holiday. And in 2023, only 13% of supporters of this holiday remained, fewer supporters only of Labor Day.

 

But Victory Day on May 9 underwent dramatic changes. In 2010, it was one of the most important holidays, according to 58% of the population, Victory Day was second only to New Year, Christmas and Easter in terms of popularity. By 2021, its popularity had halved and only 30% considered it the most important holiday. And in 2023, only 13% of supporters of this holiday remained, fewer supporters only of Labor Day. Obviously, this is connected with the war, with the fact that Victory Day is very actively celebrated in Russia as a militaristic aggressive holiday. 

 

 

During February 14-22, 2023, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted its own all-Ukrainian public opinion survey "Omnibus". By the method of computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers (with random generation of phone numbers and subsequent statistical weighting), 2,002 respondents living in all regions of Ukraine (except the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) were interviewed. The survey was conducted with adult (aged 18 and older) citizens of Ukraine who, at the time of the survey, lived on the territory of Ukraine (within the boundaries controlled by the authorities of Ukraine until February 24, 2022). The sample did not include residents of territories that were not temporarily controlled by the authorities of Ukraine until February 24, 2022 (AR of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol, certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts), and the survey was not conducted with citizens who left the country after February 24, 2022.

Formally, under normal circumstances, the statistical error of such a sample (with a probability of 0.95 and taking into account the design effect of 1.1) did not exceed 2.4% for indicators close to 50%, 2.1% for indicators close to 25%, 1.5% - for indicators close to 10%, 1.1% - for indicators close to 5%.

Under conditions of war, in addition to the specified formal error, a certain systematic deviation is added. In particular, if back in May, among all the respondents we interviewed, 2.5-4% lived in the territories occupied after February 24 (and this corresponded to the percentage of those who live there, because the generation of telephone numbers was random), now, due to the occupiers turning off the telephone connection, we managed to interview only 2 respondents (out of 2002) who currently live in occupied settlements. It is important to note that although the views of the respondents who lived in the occupation were somewhat different, the general trends were quite similar. That is, the impossibility of interviewing such respondents does not significantly affect the quality of the results. There are other factors that can affect the quality of results in "wartime" conditions (see Annex 3). In general, we believe that the obtained results are still highly representative and allow a fairly reliable analysis of public moods of the population.

 

According to our research data (see Table 1), the majority of the population of Ukraine celebrates Easter and Christmas as the most popular holidays, with percentages of 70% and 69%, respectively.

 

Table 1. Which holidays are the most popular (important or favorite) among the population of Ukraine, February 2023

 

Holidays Percentage
Easter (Easter) 70%
Christmas 69%
Independence Day of Ukraine 63%
Day of Defenders of Ukraine 54%
New Year 52%
Day of the Constitution 29%
International Women's Day 25%
Trinity 22%
Victory Day 13%
Labor Day (May 1) 5%

 

The next most popular are the Independence Day of Ukraine with 63% and the Day of Defenders of Ukraine (54%).

The New Year, which is solemnly celebrated all over the world and which shared the first place with Christmas and Easter for all the years, is now only in fifth place with a percentage of 52%.

Constitution Day, International Women's Day, and Trinity Day have, respectively, 29%, 25%, and 22%.

The least popular holidays this year are Victory Day (May 9) and Labor Day (May 1) - only 13% and 5% of Ukrainians celebrate these dates..

 

What changes have occurred in the popularity of May holidays since 2010? In graph 1, we see the dynamics of attitudes towards these two holidays (attitude towards all holidays in the annex, see Table D1).

 

Graph 1.  How the popularity of Labor Day and Victory Day has changed from 2010 to 2023.

Which holidays are the most popular (important or favorite), %.

 

 

*) telephone survey (CATI), in previous years there was a F2F interview

 

Labor Day (Day of International Solidarity of Workers) on May 1 and in 2010 was not very popular, only 12% considered it favorite or important (only Constitution Day was less popular). Until 2021, it remained at the same level with slight fluctuations, and in 2021 its popularity was the same 12% as in 2010. But in 2023, there was a significant drop in the popularity of this holiday to 5% (the last place in terms of popularity).

 

But Victory Day on May 9 underwent dramatic changes. In 2010, it was one of the most important holidays, according to 58% of the population, Victory Day was second only to New Year, Christmas and Easter in terms of popularity. By 2021, its popularity had halved and only 30% considered it the most important holiday. And in 2023, only 13% of supporters of this holiday remained, fewer supporters only of Labor Day. Obviously, this is connected with the war, with the fact that Victory Day is very actively celebrated in Russia as a militaristic aggressive holiday. 

 

 

 

Annex 1. Formulation of question from the questionnaire

 

Which of these public holidays of Ukraine are the most important or favorite for you? Please specify no more than 5 holidays. NO MORE THAN 5 ANSWER OPTIONS

 

New Year 1
Christmas 2
International Women's Day 3
Labor Day (May 1) 4
Easter 5
Victory Day 6
Trinity 7
Constitution Day of Ukraine 8
Independence Day of Ukraine 9
Day of Defenders of Ukraine 10
NONE OF THESE HOLIDAYS ARE IMPORTANT OR FAVORITE TO ME 11
DIFFICULT TO SAY 12
REFUSAL TO ANSWER 13

 

 

Annex 2. Tables

Which of these holidays are the most important or favorite for you? Please specify no more than 5 holidays.

Table 1. Dynamics in Ukraine as a whole from 2010 to 2023, %

 

  2010 2013 2016 2017 2018 2020 2021 * 2023 *
New Year 81 81 74 76 79 74 55 52
Christmas 79 79 79 80 81 79 63 69
International Women's Day 49 49 37 49 45 40 34 25
Labor Day 12 10 7 12 9 11 12 5
Easter 84 83 81 80 82 77 72 70
Victory Day 58 40 35 37 31 33 30 13
Trinity 29 36 34 29 35 31 17 22
Constitution Day of Ukraine 6 4 5 5 5 7 14 29
Independence Day of Ukraine 17 12 20 17 16 19 37 63
Defender of Ukraine Day Was not Was not Was not 10 11 13 29 54
NONE OF THESE HOLIDAYS ARE IMPORTANT OR FAVORITE TO ME 2 2 2 2 3 2 1 2
DIFFICULT TO SAY 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1
REFUSAL TO ANSWER 0 - - - - - 0 0

*) telephone survey (CATI), in previous years there was a F2F interview

 

 

Annex 3. Methodological comments on the representativeness of telephone surveys conducted during the war

 

Even before the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, there were a number of factors that negatively affected the representativeness of the surveys (for example, the absence of a census for more than 20 years). A full-scale war, of course, greatly affects representativeness and complicates the work of sociologists, but does not make it impossible. Access to reliable data on the state of public moods remains relevant both for Ukrainians themselves and for our foreign partners (who, as the events of recent months have shown, often underestimated and did not understand Ukraine and Ukrainians).

At the same time, in order to maintain objectivity, it is necessary to understand what limitations the war imposes on the conduct of sociological surveys. First of all, we pay attention to large-scale population movements. As of December, the UN estimates the number of Ukrainian refugees at almost 7.9 million. Obviously, due to various reasons, it is difficult to consider these data unequivocally accurate, but in general, the quite significant scale of departure from the country is understandable. There is no exact data on how many of them are adult citizens, but, most likely, it is about half. Among about 30 million adult citizens (estimated at the time of the full-scale invasion), it can be roughly estimated that about 15-20% have left the country, and it is impossible to reliably survey these citizens using telephone interviews. Even more citizens have become internally displaced persons, but they have a much smaller impact on the quality of telephone surveys, since almost all of these citizens have mobile phones and are reachable to participate in the survey (in fact, 12% of the respondents of this survey are IDPs).

Another important problem is the accessibility for the survey of the population of the territories that were occupied after February 24, 2022, due to the conduct of intensive military operations or due to interruptions in telephone connection. Now there is practically no connection. In May, 2.5-4% of respondents lived in these territories, now in the sample of residents of these territories - only 2 respondents out of 2002 surveyed. According to our estimates, the territory occupied by Russia as of the beginning of September (occupied after February 24, 2022) accounted for about 9% of the entire adult population. Taking into account the mass exodus of the population from these territories (most likely, we are talking about at least half of the population), as well as the fact that significant territories of Kharkiv and Kherson regions were liberated from this period, we estimate that no more than 3-5% of the total adult population of Ukraine were unavailable due to connection problems.

In our opinion, a more significant impact on representativeness can be either a generally lower readiness of citizens with "pro-Russian" attitudes to participate in surveys, or the insincerity of those who did take part in the survey (taking into account the obvious facts and prevailing opinions in the media regarding the Russian invasion , some citizens will not want to say what they really think "in public"). If to talk about the general readiness of respondents to participate in the survey, then in recent surveys we see either the same indicators or somewhat lower (although it should be borne in mind that the lower readiness to participate of "pro-Russian"-minded citizens can be compensated by the higher readiness to participate of "pro-Ukrainian"-minded  citizens).

We conducted a methodical experiment in May, which shows that the citizens who are currently participating in the surveys in terms of demographic characteristics and meaningful attitudes are close to those who participated in the surveys until February 24, 2022. Preliminarily, we see some shift in the direction of "pro-Ukrainian"-minded citizens, which is reflected in up to 4-6% deviations for individual questions (in the direction of more frequent selection of answers that correspond to the "pro-Ukrainian" interpretation of events). In our opinion, in the current conditions, this is a rather optimistic indicator.

However, this experiment does not give an answer as to how sincere the respondents are now in their answers. To assess the sincerity of responses to sensitive questions, in July we conducted another experiment using the "imagined acquaintance" method. The results showed that the respondents generally answered the survey questions honestly. That is, we have reason to say that during the interview, the respondents really answer our questions sincerely.

 

 


[1] The region is determined by where the respondent lived until February 24, i.e. IDPs who, for example, lived in the Donetsk oblast until February 24, but now live in another oblast, are considered residents of the East for the analysis.

[2] The composition of the macroregions is as follows: Western macroregion – Volyn, Rivne, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil, Zakarpattia, Khmelnytskyi, Chernivtsi oblasts; Central macroregion – Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Chernihiv, Poltava, Kirovohrad, Cherkasy, Kyiv oblasts, Kyiv city, Southern macroregion – Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Odesa oblasts, Eastern macroregion – Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts.

 


30.4.2023
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