HOLIDAYS AND EVENTS

Like in most other countries some holidays in Russia are «public holidays» when everyone has a day-off including official enterprises and shops; other holidays, though not involving staying out of work are very popular and widely celebrated. Apart from holidays celebrated nationally, there are some holidays more important for a specific region or city. They are either professional holidays (e.g. for professions connected with main regional industries) or memorable dates in the history of a region. Coming to Russia during one of the holidays celebrated you will have some extra entertainments and great impressions.

1st January - NEW YEAR'S DAY

Udege It would be no exaggeration to say that this is the most popular holiday in Russia with its winter charm and family atmosphere. No other holiday is so expected and longed for, with the presents-seeking rush and holiday preparations. The festive meal starts on 31 December and often continues till the morning of 01 January. All cities are decorated with New Year symbols (fir-trees, colorful balls&lights, etc.). Coming to Russia during this merry season you will have a chance to take part in all the traditional celebrations and maybe even meet Ded Moroz (Father Frost), Russian analogue of Santa Claus.


7th January - CHRISTMAS

Udege Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated 12 days later than the Catholic Christmas (due to shift in the calendar). This holiday was for several decades deprived of official status, as religion in the Soviet Union was disapproved of. Now the old traditions are restored.





23 FEBRUARY - MOTHERLAND DEFENDERS' DAY

Udege Originally the Soviet Army Day, this holiday in the Soviet period commemorated the birthday of the Red Army back in 1923. In spite of the fact that this day has a military context, it was non-officially regarded as a men’s day (analogically to women’s day in March), when every man regardless of the age got his present - a boy as a future motherland defender, a young man as a potential soldier, an old man as a former one (as almost 100% of men in Soviet Union had a compulsory 2-year term of army service). This holiday was officially proclaimed a day-off just a couple of years ago.



8 MARCH - INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

Udege Originally established in early XX century to draw attention to growing social role of women and to their rights, this holiday was almost exclusively celebrated in the Soviet Union. It is still an official holiday in Russia and some other former USSR republics (while some of them excluded this purely ideological holiday after the Soviet Union collapsed). On this day all women (from kindergarten girls to retired grandmas) get presents and all possible attention from men. Can be a real nightmare for a man working with mostly women colleagues!



MASLENITSA (PANCAKE WEEK)

Udege This old Slavic holiday remained in Russia from old pagan times. It was created to celebrate the end of winter and to welcome spring by playing outdoor games, singing songs, sledding from the snow hills, building fires and frying all sorts of pancakes. Pancake, the symbol of this merry holiday, is a metaphor of Sun, starting to shine brighter with spring’s arrival. Even when the Christian religion was established in Russia, sweeping away all the pagan heritage, Maslenitsa remained a widely celebrated holiday (though the Church does not approve of it). It is celebrated in the beginning of spring or end of winter, during one week before the Great Fast of 40 days (the dates shift each year to fall on Monday).

EASTER (THE BRIGHT SUNDAY)

Udege This non-official funny holiday is one of the favorite ones in Russia, as sense of humor and the ability to laugh at jokes are valued greatly in Russian culture. This day be careful when reading newspapers – some of the articles may be «canards»! And feel free to play practical jokes on your friends – no offence this day.




1 MAY - SPRING AND LABOR HOLIDAY

Udege In Soviet times this was one of the most important holidays for the people of the USSR, celebrating the unity of all the working population. Every enterprise obliged all its employees to participate in the demonstration parades, when thousands of people marched the main streets carrying the flags and banners glorifying the achievements of the Soviet economics and industries. Now the demonstrations are not a rule, so only enthusiasts keep this tradition.



9 MAY - VICTORY DAY

Udege In Soviet times this was one of the most important holidays for the people of the USSR, celebrating the unity of all the working population. Every enterprise obliged all its employees to participate in the demonstration parades, when thousands of people marched the main streets carrying the flags and banners glorifying the achievements of the Soviet economics and industries. Now the demonstrations are not a rule, so only enthusiasts keep this tradition.




12 JUNE - DAY OF RUSSIA

Udege This is one of the “youngest” holidays in Russia, commemorating the official Declaration of Independence issued in 1994. Now it is a holiday of freedom, peace and unity of all the people of Russia in their aspiration to live respecting law and justice.





2 JULY - VLADIVOSTOK CITY DAY

Udege On this date back in 1860 the military post Vladivostok was officially given the status of city. So this day is recognized as Vladivostok city birthday. Usually all the holiday performances are held on the Sunday closest to the 2nd July – concerts, fairs and fireworks.






FISHER'S DAY

Udege Celebrated on the 1st Sunday of July, this is one of the main holidays for Primorye citizens, as fishing is a leading industry in this region, so most families have relatives&friends engaged in fishing business. Besides, fly-fishing is one of the favorite pastimes of local men - luckily Primorye gives a great variety of possibilities for fishing (at sea, rivers, lakes, etc.) There are also colorful performances with the Neptune (Roman God of the Sea and the guardian of all fishers) and other mythological sea creatures on this day.






8 JULY - DAY OF FAMILY, LOVE AND FAITHFULLNESS

Udege The youngest holiday in Russia, introduced in 2008 but quickly gaining popularity. The date was chosen because 08 July is also the day of Saints Peter and Fevronia (Russian Orthodox patrons of marriage and family).






NAVY DAY

Udege This holiday, celebrated on the last Sunday of July, is truly loved and widely celebrated in Primorye, where the Pacific Navy fleet is based. On this day the Pacific Fleet Guard Company is swearing its oath in a traditional yearly ceremony. There is also a holiday Navy parade and the Pacific Fleet armament&military equipment exhibition on the central square.






AIRBORNE FORCES DAY

Udege On this day (3rd Sunday of August) the «Blue berets» make great performances to show all their professional skills on the main city square –marches of paratroopers, holiday concerts, the imitation of traditional hand-to-hand fighting, etc.






TIGER DAY

Udege This holiday was established to attract attention to the problem of the Amur Tiger extinction. Tiger population in Primorye is decreasing each year, so the scientists and nature-lovers of Vladivostok do everything possible to protect this rare and beautiful animal. Tiger Day is celebrated in Vladivostok on the last Sunday of September with colorful carnivals and performances on the central square and the main streets. The International Vladivostok Marathon is also traditionally held on this day.






4 NOVEMBER - NATIONAL UNITY DAY

Udege This is the newest holiday for the present-day Russia (though it existed before the Revolution of 1917). On this day in 1612 the Russian people won the victory over the Polish occupants and set Moscow free.







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