Public Holidays

Public holidays in Russia

The biggest difference in the Russian holiday calendar from most is the shift of Christian events. The Russian Orthodox Church calculates its holidays according to the Julian calendar, which is somewhat more accurate in relation to the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Therefore there is a shift of, e.g., Christmas by about 13 days. Whitsun, on the other hand, is not known at all, and Easter is not a public holiday.

The amount of non-statutory holidays, but often military commemorative days, in Russia may be surprising. In addition, there are numerous non-statutory holidays for almost every occupational group (though they are not listed here).

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Non-floating holidays

Non-statutory holidays are written in gray.

Jan. 1st1st New Year's Day
Jan. 2nd2nd New Year's Day
Jan. 3rd3rd New Year's Day
Jan. 4th4th New Year's Day
Jan. 5th5th New Year's Day
Jan. 7thRussian Orthodox Christmas
Jan. 14thNew Year (Julian calendar)
Jan. 19thEpiphany
Jan. 27thDay of the lifting of the Leningrad blockade 1944
Feb. 2ndDay of the Battle of Stalingrad 1943
Feb. 23rdFather's Day
Feb. 23rdDay of the Defender of the Fatherland
March 8thWomen's Day
April 2ndDay of International Understanding
April 7thAnnunciation
April 18thDay of the Battle on Lake Peipus 1242
April 26thMemorial Day for the deceased in nuclear accidents
May 1stLabor Day
May 9thVictory Day over Fascism 1945
May 18thDay of the Museums
May 24thSlavic Scripture and Culture Day
May 28thDay of Border Troops of Russia
June 6thPuschkin's Day
June 12thDay of Russia
June 22ndDay of remembrance and mourning
June 27thYouth's Day
July 2ndAll Saints' Day
July 10thDay of the Battle of Poltava 1709
July 28thDay of the baptism of Rus
Aug. 9thDay of the Battle of Cape Gangut 1714
Aug. 22ndDay of the Russian flag
Aug. 23rdDay of the Battle of Kursk 1943
Sept. 8thDay of the Battle of Borodino 1812
Sept. 11thDay of the Battle of Tendra 1790
Sept. 21stDay of the Battle of Kulikovo Polje 1380
Oct. 1stDay of the elderly
Oct. 30thMemorial Day for the victims of political repression
Nov. 4thDay of the Unity of the People
Nov. 7thDay of the October Revolution of 1917
Nov. 19thArtillerymen's Day
Dec. 1stDay of the naval battle at Sinop 1853
Dec. 5thDay of the counterattack, Battle of Moscow 1941
Dec. 12thConstitution Day
Dec. 17thStrategic Rocket Patrol Day
Dec. 20thIntelligence Day
Dec. 31stNew Year's Eve

Moving Holidays in Russia

Beginning of the Russian Orthodox LentFeb. 27thMarch 18thMarch 3rdFeb. 23rdMarch 15th
Russian CarnivalFeb. 28thMarch 19thMarch 4thFeb. 24thMarch 16th
Air Defense DayApril 9thApril 14thApril 13thApril 12thApril 11th
Easter Sunday (Russian Orthodox)April 16thMay 5thApril 20thApril 12thMay 2nd
Day of the NavyJuly 30thJuly 28thJuly 27thJuly 26thJuly 25th
Day of the Tank TroopsSept. 10thSept. 8thSept. 14thSept. 13thSept. 12th
Mother's DayNov. 26thNov. 24thNov. 30thNov. 29thNov. 28th

Postponement of non-working days

Public Holidays Another special feature is the state-regulated optimization of bridge days and maximization of non-working days: if a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, there is a non-working day as a substitute. By shifting non-working days, the government also ensures that as many days off as possible are grouped together and employees have several days off in a row. To compensate for this, however, there are also six-day weeks.

Jack Frost and a Christmas in January

As mentioned at the beginning, Russia calculates church holidays according to the Julian calendar. Although the Gregorian calendar normally applies throughout the country, holidays are calculated according to a centuries-old system for historical and religious reasons. Incidentally, this is also done in many other countries.

Thus, the official Russian Orthodox Christmas takes place 13 days later on January 7. During the preceding 40 days, the fasting period applies. Christmas Eve is known in only a few regions in Russia, while Boxing Day is almost nowhere to be found as part of Russian Christmas. Jack Frost is a loving old man with a beard, but he is not Santa Claus. He gives presents to children on New Year's Eve, which is why there is no additional Boxing Day at Christmas. The Jolka celebration on New Year's Eve is often compared and confused with the actual Christmas celebration because of the gifts, but the Jolka celebration has no religious background. It was introduced in 1937 to give the population a secular holiday to replace Christmas, which was banned at the time. This is also how Jack Frost came into being, who resembles Santa Claus, but in the Russian version symbolizes nothing more than the winter.
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