Tatiana’s Day aka Student’s Day, January 25

The Orthodox Church calendar is filled with name days, each representing a day to commemorate one of the Saints. They aren’t widely celebrated these days, and yet everyone in Russia knows Tatiana’s Day. Why so? Apparently, simply because it coincides with another holiday – Student’s Day

You can learn more about the history and traditions of this double-holiday in one of our previous articles. Today we just wanted to remind you to congratulate Tatianas if you happen to know any, celebrate the exams that are almost over now, and make use of student discounts – on this day, there’ll be a lot of them!

Defender of the Fatherland Day, February 23

Defender of the Fatherland Day is a day of military honor. Colloquially known as the men’s day, it was first celebrated in 1919 to mark the first mass draft into the Red Army that happened a year earlier. Now women serve in the armed forces too, so it might not be totally fair. February 23 is a national holiday (so no one works or studies!) and a great opportunity to congratulate all those who are connected with military service, or even all men for that matter – even if it doesn’t make perfect sense these days, that’s the tradition. 

International Women’s Day, March 8

A counterpart to the men’s day, March 8 is widely celebrated in Russia. It became a national holiday here in 1917 after women received the right to vote. Both the history and the current image of the holiday are kind of complex – on one hand, it’s supposed to be a celebration of women and their rights, but on the other, the wishes often sound something like “stay pretty and cute”. Anyhow, most women in Russia expect a bit of extra attention on this day, just be mindful of the way you put it.

Maslenitsa, March 8-14 (in 2021)

It’s one of the most “outdoorsiest” holidays, which is of course quite reasonable, given that it dates back to pagan times. Like Koliada, Maslenitsa existed in pre-Christian times but was later absorbed to become a part of Orthodox calendar. 

This year, mass celebrations probably aren’t recommended, but the favorite attribute of this holiday is, of course, blini, and no one can stop you from cooking them at home! For more info and ideas, check out our guides here and here.

We hope the fact that these peculiar holidays are coming soon has cheered you up!