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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,[1][2] called New Year holiday (новогодние каникулы, novogodniye kanikuly). The holiday includes 6 and 8 January, with Christmas being 7 January, declared as non-working days by law. Until 2005, only 1 and 2 January were public holidays.[3]

Orthodox Christmas day

Main article: Christmas in Russia

Further information: Christmas traditions

Christmas in Russia (Рождество Христово, Rozhdestvo Khristovo) is celebrated on 25 December (Julian calendar) which falls on 7 January (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

Main article: Defender of the Fatherland Day

The Defender of the Fatherland Day (День защитника Отечествa, Den zashchitnika Otechestva) is celebrated on 23 February and is dedicated to veterans and service personnel of the Russian Armed Forces, 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 as it is connected to the decree published that day by the Council of People's Commissars that formalized the official mandatory conscription in the Red Army.

International Women's Day

Main article: 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

Further information: International Workers' Day § Russia

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".

Victory Day

Main article: Victory Day (9 May)

On 9 May, 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 large 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 possible) parades are organized in several other Russian cities (which are Hero Cities or have military districts or fleet headquarters primarily).

Russia Day

Main article: Russia Day

Russia Day (День России, Den Rossii) is celebrated on June 12. On this day, in 1991, the 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, then on 1 February 2002 it was officially renamed Russia Day (in 1998 Boris Yeltsin offered this name socially[clarification needed]).

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

Main article: Unity Day (Russia)

Unity Day (День народного единства, Den narodnogo edinstva) was first celebrated on 4 November 2005, commemorating the popular uprising led by Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky which ejected Polish invaders from Moscow in November 1612, and more generally the end of Time of Troubles and foreign intervention in Russia. The event was marked by a public holiday which was held in Russia on 22 October (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 a Tsar nor Patriarch to guide them. Most observers view this as a replacement for the October Revolution Day. National Unity Day is also known as Consolidation Day (as an alternative translation), which people in Russia celebrate between 3-4 November.

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[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 25 Cultural Worker Day День работника культуры России Honoring people involved in the cultural sector
April 21 Local Self-Government Day[6] 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[7] День российского парламентаризма
commemorates the first session of Russia's first-ever State Duma in 1906
June 6 Day of the Russian Language[8] 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 1 Day of Remembrance of Russian Soldiers Who Fell in World War I День памяти российских воинов, погибших в Первой мировой войне 1914–1918 годов Holiday enacted in 2013
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
2nd Sunday of August Builders' Day День строителя Holiday commemorating construction workers.
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 22 State Flag Day День Государственного флага Российской Федерации Enacted in 1994, commemorating the 1991 resolution to restore the white–blue–red tricolor as national flag by the supreme soviet of the Russian SFSR
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

See also


  1. ^ Lee Myers, Steven (January 5, 2007). "Russia takes an extended New Year holiday". International Herald Tribune.
  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. ^ Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 26.02.2015 № 103 "Об установлении Дня Сил специальных операций"
  5. ^ День сил специальных операций в России RIA Novosti, 27 February 2018.
  6. ^ УКАЗ Президента РФ от 10.06.2012 N 805 "О ДНЕ МЕСТНОГО САМОУПРАВЛЕНИЯ"
  7. ^ "RF State Duma to vote establishment of Day of Russian Parliamentarism on Friday". Itar Tass. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Russian State Duma calls for efforts to popularize Russian language abroad". Itar Tass. Retrieved 6 May 2013.