THE MAIN RUSSIAN HOLIDAYS
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   New Year (1-2 January)
  One of the most favorite holidays of Russian people. Traditionally it is a family holiday, when all the members of the family gather together at the New Year dinner. The attributes of New Year in Russia are New Year tree (decorated with the glass balls, toys etc. fir-tree), Ded Moroz ("Farther Frost, Russian kind of Santa Clouse), Snegurochka ("Snow girl", Ded Moroz's granddaughter). and fireworks.

  
Orthodox Christmas (7 January)
  Christmas became official holiday only recently, because during Soviet times it was forbidden like other elements of religion.

  
St. Tatiana's Day, or Students' Day (25 January)
  The first Russian University was established on January 25th in 1755. Since that date was St. Tatiana's Day, students started to treat her as a Protector of all the students and studies.

  
St. Valentine's Day (14 February)
   Only recently Russians started to celebrate it, especially children and young people. Though there are conservators who say that St. Valentine is Catholic figure and is alien to the Russian culture, many people like this day for it is a one more chance to say "I love you" to their darlings and make them little presents. Children make paper hearts to present their friends, and compete with each other who gets more hearts. Men present to their beloved flowers and chocolates, and women present to men some souvenirs.

  
Defenders of Motherland Day (the men's day) (23 February)
  Originally being the Day of the Red Army Soldiers who defended the young Soviet State from the enemies, now this day turned into the day of all the men, young and old, whenever they served in the army or not. At this day women greet all male members of their families, their male co-workers. Women make them presents and cook holiday dinner.

  
Women Day (8 March)
  It is the day when men greet all female members of their families, their female co-workers. Men make presents to their women and are supposed to do all housework and cook holiday dinner at this day.

  
Fools' Day (1 April)
  A day when people make laugh at each other, joke and have fun.

  
Easter (11 April)
  Orthodox holiday of the Christ's resurrection, "Paskha" in Russian. To celebrate it people bake special sweat Easter cakes - "paskha" with curds and "kulich" with raisins, and dye boiled eggs into bright colours.

  
Spring and Labour Day (1 - 2 May)
  The holiday became official at Soviet time, when the demonstrations of labor people were held. People of different professions went in columns along the city main streets and the City leaders greeted them. Also it were the days of "subbotnik", when people clean the city after winter rubbish, plant trees and flowers in the streets and do other work of their own free will without payment.

  
Victory Day (9 May)
  A day of defeat of Hitler Germany. At this day the veterans who participated at the World War II are greeted. People present them flowers, listen to their tales about war times. Tombs of people who perished during the WW II and monuments to heroes of those times are decorated with flowers. In the biggest cities impressive military parades are held.

  Independence Day (12 June)
  The date when Soviet Russian Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union officially became Russian Federation, the independent state.

  
Navy Day (30 July)
  A day when the Navy men are greeted. In the cities like Vladivostok and other navy bases magnificent men-of-war parades are held.

  
Knowledge Day (1 September)
  It is the date when the school starts after 3 months of summer vocations.

  
Day of Concord and Conciliation (7 November)
  The 7th November is a day when the Great October Socialist revolution won in Russia. During Soviet time it was the main national holiday. It was celebrated with military parade and demonstrations of labor people. At this day socialism achievements and national economy progress were spoken about. After Soviet Union split and the significance of the Revolution faded, but nobody wished to give up the holiday. So the holiday received a new name, and is treated now as a day when all parties, movements, religions concord with each other.

  
Constitution Day (12 December)
  The day when the current Russian Constitution was adopted.


      

  



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