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Public holidays in Russia

However, there are also other memorable dates for the Russian nation. These are mostly unique for Russia and represent special occasions in their nation.

List of most recognized Russian holidays

Russia red square

Some of the most popular Russian holidays that are also recognized abroad are:

  • New Year’s day on 1 January;
  • Orthodox Christmas day on January 7th;
  • The Defender of the fatherland day on 23th of February;
  • International Women’s day on March 8th;
  • Spring and Labour Day on May 1st;
  • Easter (the dates can vary, is not an official holiday in Russia).

Some of the most popular local celebrations include:

  • May 9 – Victory day;
  • June 12 – Russia day;
  • November 4 – Unity day;
  • January 12 – the Prosecutor General’s Day;
  • January 25 – Tatiana day;
  • February 15 – International duties memorial day;
  • February 27 – the Day of special operations forces;
  • March 25 – the Cultural worker day;
  • April 21 – the Local self-government day;
  • April 26 – the Memorial day of radiation accidents and catastrophes.

There are other celebrations that are not as widely recognized but are still significant for the country’s cultural and historical background.

The New Year’s eve

This is probably the most celebrated day in Russia. It is celebrated usually from 1st to 5th January. December the 31st is preholiday and it usually has fewer working hours. It is considered to be a year’s end. Many have special rituals for this occasion including evening bathing, cooking one particular salad (Olivier), watching the Soviet film referred to as The irony of fate, or May the steam be with you. Around 96% of Russians are celebrating this day according to RPORC data.

Orthodox Christmas day

This day is the 2nd most celebrated day in Russia. However, the habit of celebrating this day is not integrated into many families as the religious holidays were canceled in Russia in the Communist era while living under the Soviet Union. The traditions of this holiday are pretty much the same as Russian people usually have rather long official holidays stretching from the New Year’s day till Christmas which sometimes can be ironically called a school children vacation.

The Defender of the fatherland day

This day holds significant memories of the Russian nation. It is celebrated from 1922 as the Army day with regards to the fact that all Russian men in the USSR had to do military service, turning this day from a holiday to a men’s day. Sometimes even office parties are being organized on this day. Some men will dress up in military uniforms.

International Women’s day

This is an official day of Spring. A day of enhancing the florist business as tulips sales often are hitting the top positions in the men’s (mostly, but not only) purchase. This day is also referred to as women’s rights struggle in 1917 when the factory workers took part in a Petrograd’s demonstration followed by wone receiving a right to vote.


Easter is not an official public holiday in Russia. The dates also can vary. It usually falls on a Sunday as there are no working hours on Sundays. It is referred to as an Orthodox holiday in Russia. Celebrated by 82% of Russians, it signifies the end of Lent in Russia. The traditional meal is kulich and decorated (painted) eggs. Church visits are welcomed and praying (for those most religious ones).

Spring and Labour Day

Songs and flowers are the attributes of this day. Countryside visits on this day often follow the officially organized events by the local city municipalities. Demonstrations can be also organized on this day.

Victory day

This holiday is celebrated by military demonstrations or military parades on Red Square – men in uniforms marching, carrying army guns and other war attributes. The elderly generation or veterans and their relatives receive honor and gifts such as money compensations or material items for their life support. This day is celebrated by 95% of Russians. People also watch soviet war movies demonstrated on TV all day long.

Russia day

This is considered to be a young holiday, celebrated since 1992. On this day a Declaration of State Sovereignty of the country was adopted. According to RPORC data, it is celebrated by the 54% of the nation sometimes followed by the long summer weekend.

Unity day

While being the newest holiday for Russians, it is celebrated since 2005. Today it usually take place in the first week of the November. The Unity day’s historical background relates to the Polish intervention in 1612 in the Time of Troubles. National heroes play a great part in remembering this day referred to as Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin and (followed by their monument standing on Red Square). They are honoured for heading a people’s militia, while also liberating the lands of the country from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Eventually, this has happened in November.

Experiencing Russian holidays can be a great cultural journey. To get the best experience in Russia, you might want to read on these guides as well:

Russia is a great country that will leave you with many new and interesting experiences. Therefore, it is a great idea to pack your bag and visit the country.

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