Public holidays in Russia

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,[1][2] 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.[3]

Orthodox Christmas day

Christmas in Russia (Рождество Христово Rozhdestvo Khristovo) is celebrated, on 25th 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.

Victory Day

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

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

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

Muslim regions

List of other public holidays, commemorative and professional days

Date English name Original name Remarks
January 12Prosecutor General's DayДень работника прокуратуры Российской ФедерацииHonoring the 1772 foundation of the office of the Prosecutor General of Russia
January 25Tatiana DayТатьянин день
February 15International Duties Memorial DayДень 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
February 27Day of Special Operations Forces[4]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[5]
March 25Cultural Worker DayДень работника культуры РоссииHonoring people involved in the cultural sector
April 21Local Self-Government Day[6] День местного самоуправления
April 26Memorial Day of Radiation Accidents and CatastrophesДень памяти погибших в радиационных авариях и катастрофах
Anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster
April 27Day of Russian Parliamentarism[7]День российского парламентаризма
commemorates the first session of Russia’s first-ever State Duma in 1906
June 6Day of the Russian Language[8]День русского языка
Prior to 2011, Pushkin Day honoring Alexander Puskhin, now honors the Russian Language
June 8Social Worker DayДень социального работникаEnacted in 2000
3rd Sunday of June Medical Worker Day День медицинского рабоника Has been celebrated since 1988 in USSR
Last Sunday of JulyNavy DayДень Военно-Морского ФлотаHonoring the active and reserve personnel, heroes and veterans of the Russian Navy
1st Sunday of AugustRailway Workers' DayДень железнодорожникаHoliday commemorating the achievements of the railways sector
August 6Russian Railway Troops DayДень железнодорожных войскHonoring all the active and reserve personnel, heroes, fallen and veterans of the Russian Railway Troops
2nd Saturday of AugustSports DayДень физкультурникаHoliday commemorating the achievements of the nation's sportsmen and women, coaches, judges, sports officials and youth and disabled athletes
August 12Russian Air Force DayДень Военно-воздушных силHonoring the active and reserve personnel, heroes and veterans of the Russian Air Force
August 27Films and Movies DayДень российского киноHonoring people involved in one of the world's oldest national film industries
September 13Programmer DayДень программистаprofessional day
September 29Day of Machine-Building industry workersДень машиностроителейprofessional holiday
October 1Russian Ground Forces DayДень Сухопутных войскHonors 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 4Russian Aerospace Defense Forces DayДень космических войскThe anniversary of the 1957 launch of Sputnik that opened the way to the Space Age
October 23Day of Advertisement industry WorkersДень работников рекламыprofessional holiday, enacted in 1994
October 24Day of Special Forces of the Armed ForcesДень подразделений специального назначенияMemorial, enacted in 2006, honoring the 1950 raising of the first Spetsnaz companies
October 25Day of Customs WorkersДень таможенникаEnacted in 1995
October 29Day of Security services of the MVDДень вневедомственной охраныEnacted in 1952 by government decree
October 30Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political RepressionsДень памяти жертв политических репрессийEnacted in 1991, honors the victims of the Imperial and Soviet era political repressions
October 31Day of the Detention Centers and Prisons WorkersДень работников СИЗО и тюремEnacted in 2006
November 10Police and Internal Affairs Servicemen's DayДень сотрудника органов внутренних дел Российской ФедерацииHonoring all those serving in the Police of Russia and all those working in the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Russia)
November 19Day of the Missile Forces and ArtilleryДень ракетных войск и артиллерииEnacted on 21 October 1944, to commemorate the artillery strikes and bombardment at the Battle of Stalingrad of 19 November 1942
November 27Naval Infantry DayДень морской пехотыHonoring the 1705 date of the raising of the first units of today's Russian Naval Infantry by orders of Peter the Great
December 9Fatherland's Heroes DayДень Героев ОтечестваAnniversary of the 1769 establishment (OS date: November 26) by Catherine the Great of the Order of St. George
December 17Strategic Missile Troops DayДень Ракетных войск стратегического назначенияEnacted in 1995 to commemorate the establishment of the strategic missile forces on the 17th of December 1959

See also


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