Russian Holiday Season

Now that fall has truly hit, Halloween has recently passed, Thanksgiving is on the brain, and Christmas shopping is looming imminently, I wanted to do a quick post on Russian holidays that are around our “holiday season” in America. Obviously, Thanksgiving is a solely American holiday, but that does not exclude feasts from Russian festivities.

November 4 is Russian Unity Day, a day commemorating the riddance of Polish occupation of Moscow in 1612. This holiday was celebrated for many years, until 1917, when the Russian Revolution took precedence in celebrations. More recently, in 2005, the memory of the former holiday has been reignited and the day is celebrated with flags, parades, fireworks, songs, speeches, a day off of work, and other forms of entertainment.

November 25 is the Russian Mother’s Day, although women and mothers are more generally celebrated with greater pomp on International Women’s Day, which is March 8, with flowers, chocolates, cards, and other gifts, similar to an American Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day.

Throughout the entire year, Russia also recognizes several days honoring national servicemen on local and national levels. For example, there are Air Force, Ground Force, and Naval Recognition Days, on August 12, October 1, and November 27, respectively. However, there are also Cultural Worker, Medical Worker, and Advertisement Industry Worker Recognition Days, on March 25, the 3rd Sunday of June, and October 23, respectively.

Russian Orthodox religion follows the Gregorian calendar, so while they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, it simply falls on a different day. Christmas in America is celebrated on December 25, but it is recognized on January 7 in Russia.

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