Russians enjoy celebrating holidays. Typically, if the government establishes an ideological holiday, it expands to become the nation holiday, the festival of people’s hearts. If the state doctrine fails, people adopt new history or explanation for the holiday and keep celebrating.
The Soviet Union established the New Year in the early 1920s as a substitute for Christmas. Soon, all Russians acknowledged the New Year as a family holiday. People buy presents for the relatives, especially for the children. Every family prepares a generous meal for the night of December 31. People usually invite a family or friends and merrily celebrate the New Year night with parties and dancing or watching holiday TV programs. Traditionally, the celebration finishes at 4 am or later. The morning of January 1 is probably the most silent and empty of people time (King, 2011).
The March 8 was first introduced as a day for working women solidarity and struggle for equality and emancipation (Chappelow, 1955). In USSR, the people forgot about its political background, so today Russians celebrate a Women’s day. Husbands, brothers, sons, grandsons and boyfriends greet their beloved women with spring flowers and chocolates. Children make handicrafts at school and kindergartens for their mothers, grandmothers and sisters (King, 2011). It was an official day in USSR, and it is now, as well.
The International Worker’s Day, or May Day, is celebrated in Russia on May 1. It was an official holiday widely celebrated with parades and festivals in USSR (Chappelow, 1955). In modern Russia, people call it “The Day of Spring and Labor”, and it is still the official holiday. Today, people go to the countryside for a picnic with a family or friends as this is the time when the weather becomes warm in Russia (Pavlovskaya, 2007).
The Victory Day is the day of the Soviet Union victory in the World War II, which is the Great Patriotic War for Russians. It was the official holiday in 1960-1990. Cities celebrated the Victory Day with military parades, lying wreathes on monuments of the unknown soldiers. The city authorities organized the concerts in memory and honor of veterans; most of the TV programs are dedicated to war (Chappelow, 1955). Nowadays, the government organizes a parade only in Moscow. The other aspects remained the same.
The Anniversary of the Russian Revolution is on November 7. It was an official holiday on USSR, but now it is not. The celebration scheme was similar to May Day celebrations, with parades and concerts (Chappelow, 1955). This holiday is the only that was politically induced. Today, only older people celebrate it.
Holidays are the peculiarity of the Russian culture. If the Russians adopt the holiday, they love it and keep it even if the lifestyle or political order changes.