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Russian Holidays

Major National Holidays

Name Days (Angel's Days)



JUL
AUG
NOV


JANUARY

New 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.

Orthodox 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.

Old New Year - January 13: holiday in memory of Old Calendar New Year. Celebarated as a family holiday.

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.


FEBRUARY

Holiday 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.

The 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.



MARCH

Women's 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.



APRIL

Fool 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.

Orthodox 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.


MAY


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.


JUNE

The 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 and defended.
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.

Independence Day - June 12: is Russia's newest holiday, which commemorates the adoption in 1991 of the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Russian Federation.


SEPTEMBER

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.


OCTOBER

Teacher's Day - October 5: This special day was created to focus the World's attention on the contributions and achievements of teachers as well as their concerns and priorities.


DECEMBER

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.



Name Days (Angel's Days)

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.

    JANUARY

  • Ulyana - Jan 3
  • Anastasia - Jan 4
  • Evgenia - Jan 6
  • Klavdia - Jan 6
  • Lidia - Jan 19
  • Maria - Jan 19
  • Tatyana - Jan 25, celebrated like Students' Day, very popular among students
  • Nina -Jan 27
  • Ksenia -Jan 31

    FEBRUARY

  • Inna - Feb 2
  • Anastasia - Feb 4
  • Ksenia - Feb 6
  • Maria - Feb 8
  • Anna - Feb 16
  • Maria - Feb 19
  • Valentina, Anna - Feb 23
  • Svetlana - Feb 26

    MARCH

  • Marina, Kira - March 12
  • Antonina - March 14
  • Galina - March 23
  • Maria - March 31

    APRIL

  • Svetlana - Apr 2
  • Larissa - Apr 7
  • Alla, Anna - Apr 8
  • Maria - Apr 14
  • Tamara - Apr 28
  • Irina - Apr 29

    MAY

  • Tamara - May 2
  • Alexandra - May 6
  • Elizaveta - May 7
  • Irina - May 14
  • Varvara - May 19
  • Alexandra, Julia, Faina - May 31

    JUNE

  • Julia - June 16
  • Valeria, Maria - Jun 20
  • Maria June 22
  • Alexandra, Antonina - June 23

    JULY

  • Angelina - July 14
  • Anna - July 18
  • Olga, Elena - July 24
  • Valentina, Alevtina - July 29
  • Marina, Margarita - July 30

    AUGUST

  • Maria - Aug 4
  • Darya -Aug 17

    SEPTEMBER

  • Natalia - Sep 8
  • Elizaveta, Raisa - Sep 18
  • Ludmila - Sep 29
  • Vera, Nadezhda, Lubov - Sep 30

    OCTOBER

  • Veronica - Oct 17
  • Taisia - Oct 21
  • Zinaida - Oct 29

    NOVEMBER

  • Anastasia - Nov 11
  • Alexander - Nov 19

    DECEMBER

  • Ekaterina - Dec 7
  • Varvara - Dec 17
  • Anna - Dec 22
  • Angelina - Dec 23
  • Marina - Dec 29



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