Russian Holidays

Russian Holidays

Choose the Best Time to Come to Russia!

I must admit, Russian people love to celebrate! One of the most common images of Russia is a crazy fun drunken feast with a balalaika, vodka and red caviar. Believe me, sometimes this scenario takes place. Russian holidays allow enjoying life for a few days, and at the beginning of the year – even few weeks! In this article I will tell you about Russian holidays, so you can plan your trip to Russia.

May 1 – Spring and Labour Day

Russians love this holiday very  much, because it is in May – wonderful time in Russia –not so warm, and yet not so cold. People like to walk around the streets together.

May 1 was celebrated for the first time in Russian Empire in 1890. The original name of this holiday – the International Workers’ Day. During the time of the Soviet Union it was often called simply by the number – May 1. Now it is called “Spring and Labor Day”. For many people May 1 traditionally symbolizes rebirth and the arrival of spring. It brings energy and positive emotions.

May 9 – Victory Day

Officially, this day is called “The Day of Russia’s Military Glory – The Day of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945”. For decades, the Victory Day in Russia is very touching, very emotional holiday. No other holiday can be compared with it. Veteran with medals, leading his grandson by the hand – a symbol of strength of the Motherland, a strong connection between generations. At this day Russians feel particularly strong pride for their brave ancestors. After all, Russia has a great history and great victory. Russians celebrate Victory Day wide and joyfully. There are movies about war on television, parades and fireworks.

June 12 – The Day of Russia

The Day of Russia, or “The Day of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Russia”, as it was called until 2002 – is one of the youngest holidays in Russia. In fact, this holiday yet is seen only as a day off, when you can not go to work. The Day of Russia is still quite young and elder generation, who lived in the Soviet Union, does not perceive it as something that makes sense. Nevertheless, young Russians are happy to have a warm summer holiday to drink couple of beer together and make fun.

December 31 – New Year

Until 1700 in Russia, New Year was celebrated on September 1 and years were counted “From the creation of the World” (in old style today should be the year 7519). In December 1699 the famous Russian Tsar Peter I ordered to celebrate the New Year from the date of Birth of Jesus Christ, January 1 instead of September 1, as well as to decorate the house by pine branches, lit bonfires in the evening and make fireworks. The first rocket was launched by the Tsar himself at the Red Square at New Year’s night 1700. Today New Year’s holiday is the greatest of all Russian holidays. November and December are the busiest months in a year throughout the whole trading industry in Russia. Russians usually spend New Year’s night with family or close friends:  we prepare a lot of delicious food, salads, meat, maybe a turkey, fruit and sweets. In the New Year’s Eve at 12:00 Russian President delivers a speech to the people of Russia, the message of congratulations and best wishes of happiness, health and success in the New Year. Then people go out and make the fireworks. New Year’s Eve is a great time in Russia.

February 23 – “The Day of Defender of the Motherland”

Initially, this holiday called “Day of Russia’s military glory“, but in 2006 it was renamed to “The Day of Defender of the Motherland”. This holiday is practically not applicable to the army, troops, and any particular period of Russian history. On this day women congratulate their men, who have strong masculine qualities – courage, intelligence, honor, commitment, kindness, confidence, and so on. Women in this day pay a lot of attention to men and give gifts. There are corporate parties in offices and people usually drink a lot.

March 8 – International Women’s Day

Once a man celebrated “their” day, they can begin to prepare a return gift to women, because in two weeks it’s March 8 – International Women’s Day. This holiday is celebrated on a larger scale, because women, as expected, like gifts and attention more. Usually at this holiday in cinema there are some special lyrical melodramas, showing the beauty of women, and you can have an opportunity to invite your girlfriend/ wife to watch this movie. The best gift on March 8, of course is a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

January 7th – Orthodox Christmas

At the night from sixth to seventh of January Orthodox Russians celebrate Christmas. As you may know, during the period of the USSR religion was officially banned and the majority of Soviet people were atheists. So, Christmas was not celebrated in the Soviet Union. And after the crushing of the Soviet Union the inverse transformation has not occurred – New Year’s remained a traditional family holiday, and Christmas is celebrated by only part of the country’s population, mostly Orthodox Christians. Many people celebrate Christmas in temples and churches – there are celebratory service and singing there.

If you know more interesting Russian holidays – let us know in commentaries.

Download iLearnRussian™ App for iOS and Android on your device:

Oleg Vinzhegin,

Your personal guide into the world of excellent Russian speaking

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *