Russian Holidays / Celebrations
January 1 New Year
Most important non-religious holiday for Russian women. Celebrations may feature the Yolka, or New Year's Tree, Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden, and gift-giving and a feast. Revelers crowd Red Square.
January 7 Russian Christian Christmas (Russian Gift Holiday)
Christmas based on the Julian calendar, used in Russia prior to the 1917 Soviet revolution when the Soviet government switched to the Gregorian calendar in general use. The Russian Orthodox Church marks religious holidays based on the old Julian calendar. Some other eastern orthodox dioceses in the world also celebrate Christmas on January 7. This recent post-Soviet addition to Russian holidays is a work holiday for Russian women.
January 13 Old New Year
Popular holiday celebrated by Russian women in remembrance of old calendar.
January 25 Student's Day
Katherina the Great created this day and Russian women students are known to celebrate heavily.
February 14 Valentine's Day (Western Gift Holiday)
Celebrated by all Russian women.
February 23 Day of the Army
Was Soldier's Day but was turned into Men's Day. It's customary for Russian women to give gifts to men and loved ones.
March 8 Women's Day
Giving flowers to Russian women - in personal and professional relations - is mandatory.
April 1 Day of Laughs
The 1st of April is the day of laughter, jokes, making fun, cheerfulness for Russian women. In 1700 one of the German commandants in Moscow declared that he would get into an ordinary bottle. On the appointed day a bottle appeared on the stage with the inscription: "The 1st of April"
April 20 Modern Easter (Western Gift Holiday)
A Christian feast commemorating the Resurrection of Jesus.
April 27 Russian Easter (Russian Gift Holiday)
Most important religious holiday for Russian women, Easter or "Paskha" in Russian.
May 1 Day of Labor
Is traditionally celebrated as Labor Day around the world, a day of workers' solidarity. Under the Soviets, this was an important political holiday. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the holiday was de-politicized and became a two-day Labor Day and Spring Holiday for Russian women.
May 9 Day of Victory
Celebrates victory over Germany in 1945 in World War II or, as it is commonly referred to in Russia, The Great Patriotic War. Equivalent to American Veterans' Day.
June 1 Day of Children's Defense
Children's rights are respected and defended on this day.
June 12 Day of Independance
Marks the 1991 declaration of Russian sovereignty.
September 1 Day of Knowledge
This is the day Russian women students start school.
October 5 Teacher's Day
Teachers all around the country are celebrated.
November 7 Day of October Revolution
The Soviet Union marked the anniversary of the 1917 "Great October Socialist Revolution" (October because of the discrepancy in calendars which changed post-1917). After the Soviet collapse, the post-Soviet Russian government - in an effort to forge political peace through compromise - kept the date an official state holiday, adhering to seven decades of tradition, but designated the holiday as a day of accord and reconciliation in an effort to bridge the political divide. The Communist Party still marks the date as the anniversary of the revolution, but for most of the country, it is simply provides a non-political holiday.
December 12 Day of Constitution
Marks adoption of Russia's post-Soviet constitution.
December 25 Modern Christmas (Western Gift Holiday)
A Christian feast commemorating the Birth of Jesus.
Additional information on Russian holidays:
Holidays that occur on weekends are traditionally celebrated by Russian women on Friday or Monday.
Separate holidays occurring close together tend to merge into extended holiday periods for Russian women. Anticipate closed offices, absent officials, work slowdowns during extended holidays.
Russian women consider August the traditional vacation month, as in many parts of Europe.
Fireworks displays are traditional on Russian holidays.
National, regional and local elections occur on Sundays; treated as holiday.