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09:41:45, Tuesday, 12 December 2017
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Holidays in Russia

Holidays in Russia
Holidays in Russia

New Year is the first on the calendar and in popularity. New Year holidays in Russia last for 10 calendar days from January 1 till January 10. Currently the New Year is a bigger holiday than Christmas in Russia. Since 1992 Christmas has been openly observed in Russia and now the New Year's celebration usually flows into the celebration of the Russian Orthodox Christmas. Russian Christmas comes two weeks later than in other countries, on January 7. This difference is due to the Russian Orthodox Church following the older Julian calendar.

 

 

Ice town
Ice town

 

 

 

During the holiday you can visit - The Ice Town. The "Ice town" is an attraction with many ice statues and ice-runs that usually appears during the New Year's Holiday on the central square of the city (December 29 - January 11). It is a favorite place among children and their parents where they come for fun, frolic and snowball fights. Usually the festival of ice sculptures is held.

 

 

 

Defender of the Fatherland Day

On February 23 during the Defender of the Fatherland Day 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 the Red Army 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 invading German forces).

International Women's Day

The United Nations declares March 8 as the International Women's 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. Thus, nowadays Russian women hardly ever recollect that this holiday originated as a day of rebellion of women struggling for equal rights with men. This day was very special to the Russians in the 1940s.

Spring and Labour Day

In the former Soviet Union, May 1 was an International Workers' Day and was celebrated with huge parades in cities like Moscow. Though celebrations are low key nowadays, several groups march on that day to protest grievances the workers have. Several communist states (Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam) still hold this day as an official occasion with a military parade and columns of weapons and workers.

Victory Day

On May 9 Russia celebrates the victory over Nazi Germany, while remembering those who died in order to achieve it. On 9 May 1945 (by Moscow time) the German military surrendered to the Soviet Union and the Allies of World War II in Berlin (Karlshorst). A military parade is held in Moscow to celebrate the day. Victory Day is by far one of the biggest Russian holidays. It commemorates those who died in WWII and pays tribute to survivors and veterans. Flowers and wreaths are laid on wartime graves and special parties and concerts are organized for veterans. In the evening there is a firework display. A huge military parade, hosted by the President of the Russian Federation, is annually organized in Moscow on Red Square. Similar parades are organized in all major Russian cities.

Russia Day

Russia Day is a holiday, somewhat similar to independence day, celebrated on June 12. On this day, in 1990, Russian parliament formally declared Russian sovereignty over USSR. The holiday was officially established in 1992. Initially it was named Day of the Adoption of the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Russian Federation, on 1 February 2002 it was officially renamed to Russia Day (in 1998 Boris Yeltsin offered this name socially). There exist a misconception in Russian society, that this holiday also called Russia Independence Day, but it never had such a name in official documents. According to the survey of Levada Center in May 2009, 44% of the respondents named the holiday as Independence Day of Russia.

Day of People's Unity

Day of People's Unity was first celebrated on November 4, 2005, commemorates the popular uprising led by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky which ejected the Polish invaders from Moscow in November of 1612, and more generally the end of the Time of Troubles and foreign intervention in Russia. The event was marked by a public holiday which was held in Russia on October 22 (Old Style) from 1649 till 1917. 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 to counter Communist demonstrations on November 7 holiday, which marked the anniversary of the October Revolution. Recently a film 1612 was made to explain to the Russian audiences the history behind the new holiday. National Unity Day is also known as Consolidation Day (as an alternative translation), which people in Russia celebrate on November 3 - November 4.

Banks, government offices, libraries and educational establishments are closed on the following days:

Name
Date
New Year's Holidays
January, 1-5
Russian Orthodox Christmas
January, 7
Day of the Defender of the Motherland
February, 23
Women's Day
March, 8
Day of Spring and Labour
May, 1
Victory Day
May, 9
Independence Day
June, 12
Day of People's Unity
November, 4

 

Stores may be open on for fewer hours on some of these days. Sometimes it can be a little complicated figuring out which days the country shuts down. If the holiday falls on Monday or Friday, then everything is simple - it's a day off. If it falls on a weekend, then Friday or Monday will also be a day off. If it falls on Tuesday or Thursday then the weekend will be shifted a day in the right direction and Saturday or Sunday becomes a working day, with the three days off being Sunday-Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday-Saturday. If the holiday falls on Wednesday then there is no long weekend.

Other holidays observed in Russia:

Name Date
Valentine's Day February, 14
Shrovetide One Sunday in February (March)
April Fool's Day April, 1
Easter One Sunday in Spring
Children's Day June, 1
Day of Knowledge September, 1
Day of Elderly People October, 5
Mother's Day Last Sunday in November

 

Among traditional holidays, Ekaterinburg is celebrating also:

The City Day

The City Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of August. Usually it is hold in the Historical Square, the Square of 1905, the Literary Quarter and the City Pond embankment. Many famous rock- and folk-bands are performing there. At the end of the celebration fireworks are let off.

“UPI Spring”

On the 8th and 9th of May on the square near the Ural State Technical University (UPI) the festival “Vesna UPI” (UPI Spring) is traditionally held. Usually rock-band, comedians and youth theatres companies are performing there. The festival is held only once per 2-3 years.

Like any other nation the Russians are famous for their own peculiar customs and traditions kept through the centuries.