It’s Christmas Eve in most Western countries today, but in Russia 24th or even 25th December are nothing special, they are normal working days in the run-up to the New Year’s Day, the biggest and most favourite holiday of the year. 1st January is the first day of the official festive break which in 2015 lasts until 11th January inclusive. Christmas in Russia is celebrated towards the end of this winter holiday season, on 7th January, because the Russian Orthodox Church follows the older, Julian calendar. Following the Soviet era, Christmas became a public holiday again in Russia only in 1991.
Monday, 23rd February, is the Defender of the Fatherland Day.
8th March is International Women’s Day. As it falls on a Sunday, 9th March is also a day off in lieu.
12th April is Russian Easter which is a week after the churches following the Gregorian Calendar (most of them in Europe, for example) celebrate it on 5th April.
1st May is the Day of Spring and Labour. A spring mini break will cover 4 days – from 1st to 4th May. 4th May is a day off moved over from Sunday, 4th January.
9th May, is Victory Day which in 2015 falls on a Saturday, making Monday, 11th May a non-working day.
Friday, 12th June is Russia Day.
Wednesday, 4th November, is Unity Day.
I hope this short guide is helpful for people who have friends or business contacts in Russia. And if you are celebrating Christmas Eve tonight, - Merry Christmas – С Рождеством!
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