Public holidays in Russia

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Below is the list of official public holidays recognized by the Russian government. On these days, government offices, embassies and some shops, are closed. If the date of observance falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will be a day off in lieu of the holiday.


[edit] Official holidays

[edit] New Year (Новый Год) and Christmas (Рождество)

The Russian New Year is celebrated January 1st. Many Russians still celebrate Old New Year on January 14th. January 14th corresponds to the first of the year according to the Julian calendar, which was used in Russian until 1918. It differs slightly from the Gregorian calendar used by most of the world. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, all religious holidays, including Christmas were banned, so to many Soviet people the New Year was the biggest holiday of the year. Since 1992 Christmas has been openly observed in Russia and now the New Year's celebration usually flows directly into the celebration of Russian Orthodox Christmas observed on January 7. However, New Year remains the most important holiday for most Russians.

[edit] Day of the Defenders of the Motherland (День защитника отечества)

On 23 February, Russia honors those who are presently serving in the Armed Forces and those who have served in the past. During the era of the Soviet Union, it was called Defender of the Motherland Day or the Day of the Soviet Army and Navy (celebrating the day of the first mass draft of the Red Army in Petrograd and Moscow or of the first combat action against the occupying imperial German army).

[edit] International Women's Day (Восьмое марта)

Every 8 March, the United Nations declares this day to celebrate women and the accomplishments they have made to society. Other than in the former Soviet republics, it is not celebrated much throughout the world. It is traditional on this holiday to present women with gifts and flowers to express appreciation for their work, love and devotion. It can be regarded as the equivalent of Mother's Day combined with some aspects of Valentine's Day.

[edit] Spring and Labour

On the first two days of May, the workers of Russia are honored, along with the coming of spring. In the former Soviet Union, 1 May was May Day and was celebrated with huge parades in cities like Moscow. Though the celebrations are low key, several groups march on that day to discuss the greviences the workers have. Several сommunist nations still hold this day as an official occasions with a military parade and columns of weapons and workers.

[edit] Victory Day

Every 9 May, Russia celebrates the victory over Nazi Germany, while remembering those who fell in order to achieve it. 9 May was chosen, since the day before in 1945, the Germans surrendered to the Soviet Union and her Allies. 9 May was when the peace took effect. A military parade is usually held in Moscow to celebrate the day.

[edit] Independence Day/Russia Day

Russia Day is an Independence Day holiday in Russia celebrated on June 12. On this day, in 1990, Russian parliament formally declared its sovereignty. While the holiday has been officially recognised since 1991 when it was established by Boris Yeltsin, 2003 is the first year that it was celebrated in a major way, when promoted by Vladimir Putin. There was a big parade in Moscow.

[edit] Day of People’s Unity

November 4. Day of People’s Unity (or National unity day, Russian: День народного единства), first celebrated in 2005, commemorates the popular uprising which ejected the Polish-Lithuanian occupying force from Moscow in November of 1612, and more generally the end of the Time of Troubles and foreign intervention in Russia. Its name alludes to the idea that all the classes of Russian society willingly united to preserve Russian statehood when its demise seemed inevitable, even though there was neither Tsar nor Patriarch to guide them. Most observers view this as an attempted replacement holiday for November 7 to counter Communist demonstrations, due to its proximity on the calendar.

[edit] Former holidays

[edit] Day of Accord and Reconciliation

Started on 7 November 1917, it was officially known as the Day of the Great Socialist October Revolution. During the Soviet period the day was marked with military parades. Today, it is considered to be a day of remembrance. Communists demonstrations are held across the country. A recent trend on November 7 is to commemorate the 1941 parade through Red Square.

[edit] Constitution Day

12 December is the day the Constitution of Russia was adopted on referendum in 1993. On 24 December 2004, Duma canceled day off for this holiday.

[edit] Other Observances

ru:Праздники и памятные дни России

Public holidays in Russia

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