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.

Official 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]

Christmas day

Christmas in Russia (Рождество Христово Rozhdestvo Khristovo) is observed, on 7 January, as a public holiday according to the Julian calendar used by the Russian Orthodox Church. The public holiday was re-established in 1991, following the decades of suppression of religion and state atheism of the Soviet Union. Christmas on 25 December is celebrated in Russia by the Roman Catholic and various Protestant churches, but is not a public holiday. But despite it not being a public holiday, it is a popular holiday.

Defender of the Fatherland Day

The Defender of the Fatherland Day (День защитника Отечества Den zashchitnika Otechestva) is celebrated on 23 February, and is a day of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. 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 this day has remained the global date for International Women's Day ever since.

National Flag Day

The National Flag Day is an official holiday in Russia, established in 1994. It is celebrated on 22 August, the day of the victory over putschists in 1991, but it is not a day-off.

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 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 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) is the national day, celebrated on June 12. On this day, in 1990, Russian parliament formally declared Russian sovereignty from the USSR (unlike all other ex-Soviet republics) which declared complete state independence ,[4] Russian independence was less radical, and coexistence of Russian and USSR state power had a place until the end of 1991[citation needed]). 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 exists a misconception in Russian society, that this holiday is also called Russia's 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.

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 - November 4.

Regional public holidays

Muslim regions

List of holidays and commemorative days

Date English name Local 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
February 15 International Duties Memorial Day День памяти воинов-интернационалистов
Honoring all those who served in the 1979-89 Soviet war in Afghanistan and in assisting and helping Warsaw Pact armed services during the Cold War
March 25 Cultural Workers Day День работника культуры России Honoring people involved in the cultural sector
April 21 Local Self-Government Day[5] День местного самоуправления
April 26 Memorial Day of Radiation Accidents and Catastrophes День памяти погибших в радиационных авариях и катастрофах
Anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster
April 27 Day of Russian Parliamentarism[6] День российского парламентаризма
commemorates the first session of Russia’s first-ever State Duma in 1906
May 9 Victory Day День Победы
Honoring all those who served in the Second World War (1941-1945 The Great Patriotic War
June 6 Day of the Russian Language[7] День русского языка
Prior to 2011, Pushkin Day honoring Alexander Puskhin, now honors the Russian Language
June 8 Social Workers' Day День социального работника Enacted in 2000
June 12 Russia Day День России Declaration of Sovereignty of the Russian Federation from the USSR
Last Sunday of July Navy Day День Военно-Морского Флота Honoring the active and reserve personnel, heroes and veterans of the Russian Navy
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 Film and Movies Day День российского кино Honoring people involved in one of the world's oldest national film industries
September 29 Day of Machine-Building industry workers День машиностроителей professional holiday
October 1 International Day of Older Persons
Russian Ground Forces Day
Международный день пожилых людей
День Сухопутных войск
Honors the elderly and all working for their health,
celebrating all 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 Defence 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 Security services of the MVD 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 18 Day of the missile forces and artillery День ракетных войск и артиллерии Enacted on 21 October 1944, to commemorate the artillery 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

See also


  1. Russia takes an extended New Year holiday - Europe - International Herald Tribune. By Steven Lee Myers. Published: Friday, January 5, 2007
  2. Article 112, Public holidays - Labor Code of the Russian Federation. (Russian) Retrieved on June 6, 2013
  3. Article 112. Non-working holidays (English version). International Labour Organization. Retrieved on June 6, 2013
  4. Russia's New Politics: The Management of a Postcommunist Society by Stephen White, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0521587379 (page 240)
    Citizens in the Making in Post-Soviet States by Olena Nikolayenko, Routledge, 2001, ISBN 0415596041 (page 101)
  5. УКАЗ Президента РФ от 10.06.2012 N 805 "О ДНЕ МЕСТНОГО САМОУПРАВЛЕНИЯ"
  6. "RF State Duma to vote establishment of Day of Russian Parliamentarism on Friday". Itar Tass. Retrieved 22 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Russian State Duma calls for efforts to popularize Russian language abroad". Itar Tass. Retrieved 6 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links