Public holidays in Russia
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The following is the list of official public holidays recognized by the Government of Russia. On these days, government offices, embassies and some shops, are closed. If the date of observance falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be a day off in lieu of the holiday.
Major National Holidays
New Year Holiday
In addition to New Year's Day (Новый год Novy god) on 1 January, 2–5 January are public holidays as well, called New Year holiday (Новогодние каникулы Novogodniye kanikuly). The holiday includes January 6 and 8, with Christmas being January 7, declared as non-working days by law. Until 2005, only 1 and 2 January were public holidays.
Orthodox Christmas day
Christmas in Russia (Рождество Христово Rozhdestvo Khristovo) is celebrated on 25 December Julian calendar which falls on January 7th Gregorian calendar and commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. The public holiday was re-established in 1991, following the decades of suppression of religion and state atheism of the Soviet Union.
Defender of the Fatherland Day
The Defender of the Fatherland Day (День защитника Отечествa or Den zashchitnika Otechestva) is celebrated on 23 February and is dedicated to veterans and members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, though it is often colloquially known as Men's Day (День Мужчин, Den' Muzhchin) and commonly treated as a celebration of all men. The holiday was established in 1918.
International Women's Day
On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and has remained the global date for International Women's Day ever since.
Spring and Labour day
In the former Soviet Union, 1 May was International Workers' Day and was celebrated with huge parades in cities like Moscow. Though the celebrations are low-key nowadays, several groups march on that day to protest grievances the workers have. Since 1992, May Day is officially called "The Day of Spring and Labour".
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). Victory Day (День Победы Den Pobedy) is by far one of the biggest Russian holidays. It commemorates those who died in World War II 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 ground and air military parade, hosted by the President of the Russian Federation, is annually organized in Moscow on Red Square. Similar ground, air and marine (if it is possible) parades are organized in several other Russian cities (which are Hero Cities or have military district or fleet headquarters primarily).
Russia Day (День России Den Rossii) National Day, celebrated on June 12. On this day, in 1991, Russian parliament formally declared Russian sovereignty from the Soviet Union. 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). In Russian society there is a misconception that this holiday is also called "Russia's Independence Day", but it never has had such a name in official documents. According to a survey by Levada Center in May 2009, 44% of respondents named the holiday as "Independence Day of Russia".
Unity Day (День народного единства Den narodnogo edinstva) 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 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. National Unity Day is also known as Consolidation Day (as an alternative translation), which people in Russia celebrate on November 3–4.
Regional public holidays
List of other public holidays, commemorative and professional days
|Date||English name||Original name||Remarks|
|January 12||Prosecutor General's Day||День работника прокуратуры Российской Федерации||Honoring the 1772 foundation of the office of the Prosecutor General of Russia |
|January 25||Tatiana Day||Татьянин день||Celebrated as (University) Students' Day |
|February 15||International Duties Memorial Day||День памяти воинов-интернационалистов
||Honoring all those who served in the 1979–1989 Soviet–Afghan War and in assisting and helping Warsaw Pact armed services during the Cold War or serving in various other military actions abroad, e.g. Vietnam|
|February 27||Day of Special Operations Forces||День Сил специальных операций
||Honoring the active and reserve personnel, heroes and veterans of the Special Operations Forces and commemorating establishment of Russian control in Crimea in 2014|
|March 25||Cultural Worker Day||День работника культуры России||Honoring people involved in the cultural sector|
|April 21||Local Self-Government Day||День местного самоуправления
|April 26||Memorial Day for those lost in radiation accidents and catastrophes||День памяти погибших в радиационных авариях и катастрофах
||Anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster|
|April 27||Day of Russian Parliamentarism||День российского парламентаризма
||commemorates the first session of Russia's first-ever State Duma in 1906|
|June 6||Day of the Russian Language||День русского языка
||Prior to 2011, Pushkin Day honoring Alexander Puskhin, now honors the Russian Language|
|June 8||Social Worker Day||День социального работника||Enacted in 2000|
|3rd Sunday of June||Medical Worker Day||День медицинского работника||Has been celebrated since 1988 in USSR|
|Last Sunday of July||Navy Day||День Военно-Морского Флота||Honoring the active and reserve personnel, heroes and veterans of the Russian Navy|
|June 29||Partisans and Underground Fighters Day||День партизан и подпольщиков||Holiday enacted in 2009, honoring the 1941 decree on the raising of the first units of the Soviet partisans by the Council of People's Commissariats|
|1st Sunday of August||Railway Workers' Day||День железнодорожника||Holiday commemorating the achievements of the railways sector|
|August 6||Russian Railway Troops Day||День железнодорожных войск||Honoring all the active and reserve personnel, heroes, fallen and veterans of the Russian Railway Troops|
|2nd Saturday of August||Sports Day||День физкультурника||Holiday commemorating the achievements of the nation's sportsmen and women, coaches, judges, sports officials and youth and disabled athletes|
|August 12||Russian Air Force Day||День Военно-воздушных сил||Honoring the active and reserve personnel, heroes and veterans of the Russian Air Force|
|August 27||Films and Movies Day||День российского кино||Honoring people involved in one of the world's oldest national film industries|
|September 13||Programmer Day||День программиста||professional day|
|September 29||Day of Machine-Building industry workers||День машиностроителей||professional holiday|
|October 1||Russian Ground Forces Day||День Сухопутных войск||Honors those serving, the heroes, fallen and veterans of the Russian Ground Forces on the day of the raising of the first units of the legendary Streltsy by Ivan the Terrible in 1550|
|October 4||Russian Aerospace Defense Forces Day||День космических войск||The anniversary of the 1957 launch of Sputnik that opened the way to the Space Age|
|October 23||Day of Advertisement industry Workers||День работников рекламы||professional holiday, enacted in 1994|
|October 24||Day of Special Forces of the Armed Forces||День подразделений специального назначения||Memorial, enacted in 2006, honoring the 1950 raising of the first Spetsnaz companies|
|October 25||Day of Customs Workers||День таможенника||Enacted in 1995|
|October 29||Day of MVD Security services||День вневедомственной охраны||Enacted in 1952 by government decree|
|October 30||Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions||День памяти жертв политических репрессий||Enacted in 1991, honors the victims of the Imperial and Soviet era political repressions|
|October 31||Day of the Detention Centers and Prisons Workers||День работников СИЗО и тюрем||Enacted in 2006|
|November 10||Police and Internal Affairs Servicemen's Day||День сотрудника органов внутренних дел Российской Федерации||Honoring all those serving in the Police of Russia and all those working in the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Russia)|
|November 19||Day of the Missile Forces and Artillery||День ракетных войск и артиллерии||Enacted on 21 October 1944, to commemorate the artillery strikes and bombardment at the Battle of Stalingrad of 19 November 1942|
|November 27||Naval Infantry Day||День морской пехоты||Honoring the 1705 date of the raising of the first units of today's Russian Naval Infantry by orders of Peter the Great|
|December 9||Fatherland's Heroes Day||День Героев Отечества||Anniversary of the 1769 establishment (OS date: November 26) by Catherine the Great of the Order of St. George|
|December 17||Strategic Missile Troops Day||День Ракетных войск стратегического назначения||Enacted in 1995 to commemorate the establishment of the strategic missile forces on the 17th of December 1959|
Popular holidays which are not public holidays
- New Year according to Julian Calendar on January 14
- Death Anniversary of Vladimir Lenin and Bloody Sunday on January 21–22
- Tatiana Day (Students Day) on January 25
- Valentine's Day on February 14
- Maslenitsa (a week before the Great Lent) Start date changes every year, depending on the beginning of the Great Lent (in 2021: 8 March to 14 March)
- Internal Troops and National Guard Servicemen's Day on March 27
- Annunciation on April 7
- Cosmonautics Day on April 12
- Soviet Air Defense Forces Day on the Second Sunday of April
- Russian State Fire Service Day on April 30
- Radio Day on May 7
- Saints Cyril and Methodius' Day on May 24 (also Slavonic Literature and Culture Day)
- Border Guards Day on May 28, celebrating the anniversary of the Border Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation
- Ivan Kupala Day on July 7 (should be 24 June, St. John's Day and Summer Solistice, but shifted due to Julian calendar usage)
- Day of Remembrance and Sorrow on 22 June, marking the start of Operation Barbarossa - the Nazi invasion of the USSR
- Paratroopers' Day on August 2
- Savior of the Apple Feast Day on August 19 (also the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus)
- Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God on August 28
- Knowledge Day on September 1 (traditionally, the first day of school)
- Day of Tankmen on the Second Sunday of September
- October Revolution Day on November 7
- Naval Infantry Day on November 27
- (Western) Christmas Day on December 25
- Emergency Workers Day on December 27, celebrating those working in the Ministry of Emergency Situations on the anniversary of its foundation in 1990
- Russia takes an extended New Year holiday - Europe - International Herald Tribune. By Steven Lee Myers. Published: Friday, January 5, 2007
- Article 112, Public holidays - Labor Code of the Russian Federation. (Russian) Retrieved on June 6, 2013
- Article 112. Non-working holidays (English version). International Labour Organization. Retrieved on June 6, 2013
- Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 26.02.2015 № 103 "Об установлении Дня Сил специальных операций"
- День сил специальных операций в России RIA Novosti, 27 February 2018.
- УКАЗ Президента РФ от 10.06.2012 N 805 "О ДНЕ МЕСТНОГО САМОУПРАВЛЕНИЯ"[permanent dead link]
- "RF State Duma to vote establishment of Day of Russian Parliamentarism on Friday". Itar Tass. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Russian State Duma calls for efforts to popularize Russian language abroad". Itar Tass. Retrieved 6 May 2013.