Major National Holidays
Year - January 1: New Year's Day is one the most favorite holidays
in Russia. Both grown-ups and children are happy on this day. n the Eve of this
holiday or just on this very day everybody give presents to each other, have fun,
make fireworks, decorate pine and fur-trees, cook delicious things and lay the
holiday table. The unchangeable participants of this holiday are Farther Frost
and his granddaughter "Snegurochka"(a snow girl). The holiday lasts
till next morning. Everyone who believes in good says an intimate wish and thanks
God for everything good that had happened that year. For the first time this holiday
was announced by Peter 1 's order dated by January 20, 700. This order gave the
detailed instructions how to celebrate New Year's Day. Many people used to see
the New Year in on January 14, (according to the old calendar). And the tradition
of telling fortunes at this night is very popular among young ladies and fellows,
who is willing to know at least a little bit about their near future.
Christmas - January 7: This period from 7 till 19th of January is the
best period for telling fortunes, as it is the Saint Christmas week, when people
have fun, ware fancy-dresses and walk from one home to another asking for favor.
In the night of the 7th of January (according to the orthodox calendar) is Christmas. In Christmas holidays people try to be better, purer (cleaner); it is the time when Christian values take peculiar importance (meaning), it is time for good deeds. Christmas-is the holiday of waiting for miracles. As once it had happened in Vifliem - the Rescuer of humanity was born, so it must happen every year on this day. That's why both grown-ups and children are waiting for Christmas with such impatience and even though miracle doesn't take place the holiday is very nice with its unique mixture of folk and Christian customs and tradition.
The Student Day ( Tatyana's Day ) - January 25: in Russia it is a merry holiday of the students as on this very day January, 25th 1775 Emperor Elizabeth signed the decree (prepared by count Shuvalov) of the establishment of the Moscow University.
of lovers - St. Valentine's Day - February 14: Christian martyr Valentine
was condemned to the capital punishment by Roman pagans but even in such cruel
conditions he didn't stop thinking of his lover-the jailer's daughter. He sent
her a message full of love and tenderness.
This holiday, ingerited from the Western culture, is now very pouplar in Russia.
The Army Day - Men's Day - February 23: This holiday is celebrated on the 23rd of February. It is our tribute of respect to all the generations of Russian soldiers from the ancient times till nowadays to those who defeated courageously our motherland from invaders. On this day all the masculine representatives from boys to old men receive congratulations and presents and the military men greet each other. Women have a happy opportunity to say the warmest and the sweetest words to their lovers and to please them with sings of attention.
Pancake Day - February 27 till the beginning of March: It is
a holiday of ancient Slavs in honor to east pagan God of fertility (Vles). It
is a holiday of farewell to the winter and welcome to the spring.
The Orthodox Church considers the Pancake Day to be a Christian holiday the so-called cheese week. It is previous to the Fast and it is celebrated 7 weeks before Easter. It is a merry folk holiday when old rubbish or hey scarecrow is burnt. Most people put on skins of animals and soil their faces with soot to drive away wicked spirits.
Day - March 8: Born at a time of great social turbulence and crisis, the International
Women's Day (IWD) inherited a tradition of protest and political activism. In
the years before 1910, from the turn of the 20th century, women in industrially
developing countries were entering paid work in some numbers. Their jobs were
sex segregated, mainly in textiles, manufacturing and domestic services where
conditions were wretched and wages worse than depressed. In Europe, the flames
of revolution were being kindled.
It was German socialist Clara Zetkin who was the real mother of IWD. In 1907 she had organized an International Conference of Socialist Women and called for all socialist parties to fight energetically for women's suffrage. Zetkin was bitterly opposed to bourgeois feminism and wanted to ensure that working class women were not lured away from their class movement by default. The conference participants, including Alexandra Kollontai, a Russian revolutionary, discussed demonstrating to publicize their support for women's equality.
In 1908 Branch Number 3 of the New York City Socialist Democratic Women's Society took up the call by organizing a mass meeting on women's suffrage on March 8th. The following year the American Socialist Party declared the last Sunday in February to be National Woman's Day.
Russian socialist women followed suit from 1913, celebrating IWD like the American socialists on the last Sunday in February. In Petrograd (now St. Petersburg), on 23 February 1913 an IWD demonstration by women textile workers turned into bread riots and then into the February revolution. The fact that 23 February on the old Russian calendar corresponded to 8 March on the Western calendar adopted after the revolution set the date for the Soviet celebrations of IWD from 1918.
From 1922 Clara Zetkin headed the International Women's Secretariat of the Communist International in Moscow and IWD became an official Communist holiday. It became International Women's Day after the Second World War.
March 8 became the first spring holiday in Russia. Up to this day, it is an official day off and both men and women of Russia are looking forward to this holiday. It has long lost its political meaning and is looked upon as a day to celebrate the unconditional love, sacrifice, patience, wisdom, and beauty of the Russian women.
Day (the Day of laughter) - April 1: They say it is not a sin to laugh at
everything that seems to be fun. The medical men confirm that laughter prolong
the life. It is considered that those who can laugh at themselves achieve a lot.
Recently this fun holiday didn't celebrate everywhere but nowadays it has become a custom. Everybody tries to play a trick on others.
Easter - two weeks after Catholic Easter: It is the main Christian
holyday established in honor to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ crucified on
the cross and to the Outcome of the Jews from Egypt.
Easter is hold on the 1st Sunday after the vernal equinox and it is celebrated solemnly and merrilly. The date of Easter is usually determined by the church calendar and calculate according to so-called paskhalias - the special tables.
The Holiday of Spring and Labor - May 1: The 1st of May is the traditional holiday of spring. It opens the sequence of other May holidays. This is the day of triumph of the nature which is full of blossom, of birds' singing, of multicolored flowers and small balls. People have a rest both from the long frosty winter and winter troubles looking forward the summer and summer joys.
Victory Day - May 9: It is the greatest holyday for Russian people. It is both joy and sorrow. But there is much more on this day because we managed to defend our independence and we won " the brown plague" and stood the test of war with dignity. A great gratitude to those who lost their lives for today's peace and happiness. And eternal memory will last forever.
International Day of Children Defendence - June 1: What is sunnier, joyful,
and memorable than the childhood? A child gets to know the world, learns good
and friendship, finds out new in familiar things. A child is happy when he is
loved, warmed fed and understood. The children are the future of the mankind.
Tomorrow is in their hands. Their right for life and dignity must be respected
Trinity is the unity of three God's faces: God Father, God Son and Sacred Spirit. It is a Chritian holyday. It is celebrated on the 50th day after Easter hence it follows its another name-Pyatidesyatnitsa (the 50th day).
On this day Holy Spirit went down on the Apostles and gave them Christ's instructions to spread news of Christianity to all the peoples and languages. This holiday is hold according to folk rites.
The dwellings are decorated with twigs of birch. People remember the deceased. In the evening people sing and dance in rings. In Russia Whitsunday merged with the Semic holiday. It is the esteem of plant Spirits. People also celebrate the Parents' Saturday.
The Day of Knowledge - September 1: Every year
after a kind hot summer on the 1st of September pupil go to their classes to continue
their jorney to the Land of Knowlegde.While growing up they comprehend the depths
of Wisdom of
this Land to enter the adult life being armed with thorough Knowedge. On this day the doors of colleges, universities, institutes, lyceums are also open.
Our country is under special goodwill and guarding of God's Mother. The esteem of the Virgin (Our Lady) is extremely typical for Our people. That's why during some years side by side with traditional holiday of the 8th of March people celebrate the Mother's Day.
The Constitution Day - December 12: On this date in 1993 the new Constitution of the Russian Federation was approved, a fundamental law of the state, one of the most important democractic institutions.
The complete Russian name is formed of a given name, patronymic, and a family name, in that order. The given names can each have several different diminutives. For example for Anastasiya there is Nastya, Stasya, Tasya, Nastenka, and more.
Russian given names are often taken from the names of saints, especially those from Eastern Orthodox tradition, which are often of Greek origin. In the last century traditional Slavic names have again come into use.
Please see list of name days for many popular Slavic names.