• Yelena McCafferty

Public Holidays in Russia in 2021

Updated: Jan 11

Every December we do a blog post about public holidays in Russia in the coming year.


Russia is one of those countries where the government annually approves a list of days-off depending on the day of the week each public holiday falls on. Sometimes you end up having a long break in the middle of the week and work on a Sunday instead.


In 2021 the long winter break in Russia starts on 1st January – New Year’s Day – and lasts until 10th January. Why? Partly because Russian Christmas is celebrated on 7th January, with the Russian Orthodox Church still following the Julian Calendar.


23rd February Defender of the Fatherland Day falls on a Tuesday, so Saturday 20th February becomes a working day in lieu of Monday 22nd February, making it a three-day break.


Monday 8th March is International Women’s Day, one of the most favourite days in Russia. It’s when Russian women (and girls) get flowers and chocolates, with men staying on their best behaviour.


1st May May Day or the Day of Spring and Labour. As it falls on a Saturday, Monday 3rd May is also a day off.


9th May is Victory Day. In 2021 it’s on Sunday, therefore Monday 10th May is not a working day. Victory Day is very much respected in Russia. As a famous Soviet song goes the victory in 1945 symbolised "joy with tears in our eyes”.


12th June – Russia Day. As it’s on Saturday, the Friday before – 11th June – is a day-off in lieu.


4th November – National Unity Day, with a mini break covering the period from 4th to 7th November.


The last day of the year – the New Year’s Eve – is also a day-off in 2021. Like Christmas Eve in the UK, New Year’s Eve is the most eagerly awaited day of all. Children are excited about unwrapping their presents under the tree and adults look forward to relaxing for the following ten days.


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