Public holidays: January 1ญญ2 the major family holiday in Russia. See below about Christmas.
Christmas was banned as a holiday by the Soviet regime but was restored to
its former status in 1991, and now it is a public holiday. In 1918, the
old Julian calendar, which had been used in Russia for 930 years, was
abandoned and replaced with the Gregorian calendar, which had already been
used for a long time in many countries. The difference between the Julian
and the Gregorian calendar is the length of the year. The Julian year is
365.25 days, whereas the Gregorian year is 365.2425 days. This means, for
instance, that January 1 in the Julian year comes one day later every 128
years, according to the Gregorian calendar. The next time there will be any
noticeable difference is in the year 2100, which will be a leap year in the
Julian calendar but not in the Gregorian, so the Julian year 2100 will be
one year longer. the difference between the Julian calendar and the
Gregorian one was 13 days when the Soviet Union abandoned the Julian
calendar. Remarkably enough, the Russian Orthodox Church is still using the
Julian calendar, so Christmas Day is celebrated 13 days after the Catholic
and Protestant Christmas Day, that is on January 7. oNaturally, not many of
the Russians of today remember what it was like to celebrate Christmas in
Russia before the revolution. New Year took the role of Christmas regarding
the giving of presents, Grandfather Frost (the equivalent of Father
Christmas and Santa Claus) the gathering of the family. However, it seems
that Russia will take up some of the old traditions again, and in the
future we may see more presents given at Christmas than at the New Year.
International Women's Day, March 8
The day when all women get presents and flowers. Something like Mther's
Day in some ther countries. Although this is an international day, it is
not very well-known in many ther countries than Russia.
Easter April 19 was the only religious holiday which was accepted under
the atheist Communist rule, but the connections with Jesus were toned down.
In at least one sense there was a true connection with Jesus: People
greeted each ther with "Khristos voskres!" and answered "Voistinu
voskres!" (Christ has risen! -- Truly risen!). the painting of eggs at
Easter in Russia is famous. oEaster is celebrated one week after the
Catholic and Protestant Easter.
Public holidays: May 1
Victory Day, May 9
Commemorates the victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
The Day of the City (in St. Petersburg), May 27
Commemorates the memory of the founding of St. Petersburg.
The Russian National Day, June 12
Revolution Day, November 7
Used to commemorate the October revolution in 1917, but now this
revolution is not celebrated any more. However, this holiday has been
renamed as the commemoration of something else and is still celebrated.
Constitution Day, December 1