Danube Day 2018 / 2019 in Ukraine

Planning is underway for Danube Day 2019. Details will be posted here in June. Read on for a summary of activities in 2018.

Kvasovo village was the venue for Ukraine's grand Castle Festival, full of colour, inspiration and innovative ideas to engage young people. Situated on the banks of the Borzhava river in Zakarpattya Oblast, the festival stepped into the past and the future to introduce new heroes for our age: plastic-recycling pirates and eco-knights on a quest to combat pollution!

The Pirates' Plastic Regatta on the Borzhava inspired children to craft fabulous boats from plastic waste. Prizes were awarded according to creativity, environmental message and amount of ‘treasure’ transported – and by treasure, organisers meant plastic! The children took to inflatable dinghies for a trip down the river, towing their plastic creations behind them. The event was a joint project of Hungary's PET CUPA, the All-Ukrainian Ecological League and Uzhgorod Regatta. Children also took to the stage, performing music, songs and dance about their rivers in order to persuade people to reduce plastic usage. 

Young people also took part in the Medieval Knights’ Eco-challenge. Successful entrants were later knighted for their services to rivers! Knights entertained the crowds with a medieval tournament, while an Eco Knight, adorned with plastic bottles, fought bravely to win the day. Other highlights included blacksmithing demonstrations and a fire show. These activities also launched a long-term campaign to restore the region’s ancient riverside castles. The first castle to be revitalised is 12th-Century Kvasovo Castle, which was cleared of rubbish and overgrown plants in the run-up to Danube Day. 

The 2018 festivities also featured the on-going Campaign against plastic waste, which aims to reduce the huge number of PET bottles clogging up rural rivers. Sponsored by Coca-Cola Beverages Ukraine, it was the turn of Oroseevo village to receive recycling containers and sign up to a centralised waste management service. To mark the event, a Precious Plastics exhibition of beautiful recycled plates and bowls was on display at the Kvasovo Danube Day. Find out more about this worldwide recycling campaign promoting waste recycling, self-reliance and community action on the Precious Plastics website.

Plastic rubbish was also the inspiration for many of this year’s Danube Art Master creations. This annual art extravaganza tasks children to create riverside artworks from materials found by the river, or videos that express why rivers are important. 12 schools entered the national round organised by the All-Ukrainian Ecological League. Winners will go on to the international final later in the year.

Whilst in the Danube Delta, WWF actions championed sturgeon conservation. A day of fun educational activities took place in Vylkove, including sturgeon-inspired eco-games, art activities and workshops. 

Further information

To see how all the countries celebrated in 2018, go to Review 2018. You can also revisit 15 years of Ukraine's Danube Day via the general Review page.

Read the latest news on Ukraine's Danube Day Facebook page or contact the country coordinator:

Olena Marushevska (+380 67 9 062 061) of the All-Ukrainian Ecological League; pripyat@i.kiev.ua; bluerivers@ukrpost.ua; and view Facebook.