Russian Holidays I

Russian holidays are probably a mystery for you. Sure, we have Christmas and even Valentine's day, but what the heck are "Den' VeDeVe" and "Defender of the Fatherland Day"??

Sure, you don't have to know all of this - after all, you are just a foreigner.... but wouldn't it be great if you knew? Come on, break the stereotypes, show your Russian friends what you're made of! And if there's a girl you like - no better way to show how you feel than to buy her flowers on the International Women's Day!

Feel encouraged? Good, that was the point! Don't worry - our holidays are not *that* complicated. It's only a matter of experience, so all you have to do is practice. But first - a little theory!

Russian New Year (December 31 - January 1)

That's by far the most important of Russian holidays. It's also the longest and the most celebrated one.

You see, we don't celebrate Christmas in Russia. We used to, but communists cancelled this holiday - it was too religious. To compensate for that, we party during the New Year's Eve - and loooong afterwards!

Russian New Year is the longest holiday we have - it can last up to 10 days. A great chance to rest if you've had a busy year!

This day unites everyone - and trust me, there aren't many events that do. Wealthy and poor, politicians and businessmen, old and young celebrate the coming of the New Year, wishing it to be better than the previous one.

Russian holidays - Christmas tree

You'll see many of these in Winter
(by Pot Noodle)

We eat tons of food, including the famous Russian salad (we call it Salad Olivier) - and we also do plenty of drinking. Well, not everyone - things are changing, but the tradition of getting drunk for the New Year still lives!

So what do you do if someone invites you over? First of all - you accept! Don't even think about refusing - unless you have a really good reason! Then - you buy some gifts (make sure you didn't forget everyone!), and if you want to look like a true Russian - bring some champaigne with you.

Take a good nap before you go - the evening is going to be long.

...after all, who wants to miss the President's speech? :)

International Women's Day (March 8)

Another one of Russian holidays, and as Yoda would say "very important it is, yeeeeees!". The International Women's Day is also a part of communist legacy, but it ceased to be political a long time ago.

This is the day we treat our women like they deserve. We buy them flowers and gifts, we wine them, we dine them - and we even do the dishes!

Russian national holidays -  Women's day bouquet

Be a gentlemen and buy your lady some flowers!
(by Kaz Andrew)

If you like a girl but too shy to let her know how you feel - no better time than the 8th of March. Buy her some flowers and watch her reaction. Can't lose - you can always say you were just trying to be nice!

...but don't worry - I haven't seen a woman that frowned upon a bouquet!

Defender of the Fatherland Day (February 23)

During Soviet times we called it "The Red Army Day". The USSR may be long gone - but men are still here, and we demand to be appreciated!

Don't think this day is dedicated to army people only. First of all, we have conscription, which means that nearly every adult has worn a uniform.

Second - even if someone hasn't served in the armed forces - he is still the defender of his loved ones. That's how most of women think - and who will argue?

In short, you can call it "The International Men's Day". If you're a proud member of our kind - get ready to celebrate! The girls will congratulate you - and may even kiss you in a cheek if you're lucky, while your male colleagues will probably organize a party.

Want my advice? Buy some spirits!

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