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Russia Day in Russia

Quick Facts

Russia Day, annually celebrated on June 12, marks the beginning of democratic reforms in Russia and is one of the newest holidays in the Russian Federation.

Local names

NameLanguage
День РоссииRussian
Russia DayEnglish
Tag Russlands (Nationalfeiertag)German

Russia Day 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Russia Day 2015

Friday, June 12, 2015
List of dates for other years

In the past few years, Russia Day became an occasion for national pride, when many people pay tribute to prominent Russians. But many others still see this holiday as an extra day off.

Russia flag

The Russian flag is often seen on Russia Day.

©iStockphoto.com/SERDAR YAGCI

What do people do?

Russia Day is an occasion for many Russians to demonstrate national pride. Some people celebrate Russia's economic and social achievements and pay tribute to famous Russians on June 12. People may attend concerts and fireworks that take place in many cities throughout the country. Prominent Russian writers, scientists and humanitarian workers receive a National Award from the Russian president on this day. Yet many other people see Russia Day as nothing more than a day off.

Many Russians refused to celebrate this holiday when it was introduced in 1994. For them it was the day when their leaders agreed to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The demise of the Soviet Union led to unemployment and poverty of many Russians. People who oppose celebrating June 12 spend time in their countryside houses (dachas) or do other outdoor activities.

Public life

Russia Day is a national holiday in the Russian Federation. Most banks, public offices and schools are closed on June 12. If the day falls on a weekend, the public holiday shifts to the following Monday. Public transport schedules may vary depending on events taking place in each city on June 12. 

Background

On June 12, 1990 Soviet leaders signed a declaration of Russia’s state sovereignty. That document symbolized the beginning of democratic reforms in Russia. It also marked one of the first steps to the official dissolution of the Soviet Union. June 12 became a public holiday in 1994, but many people either did not understand its meaning or refused to celebrate it.

To promote June 12 as a patriotic holiday, Russia's first president Boris Yeltsin suggested renaming it to Russia Day in 1997 (the holiday's original name was the Day of Signing the Declaration of State Sovereignty). The renaming took place in 2002 when the Russian Parliament adopted a new version of Russia's Labor Code.

Symbols

The Russian flag and a two-headed eagle, the state symbols of the Russian Federation, are the most common symbols of Russia Day.

Russia Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday type
SunJun 121994Day of Signing the Declaration of State SovereigntyNational holiday
MonJun 131994Day of Signing the Declaration of State Sovereignty observedNational holiday
MonJun 121995Day of Signing the Declaration of State SovereigntyNational holiday
WedJun 121996Day of Signing the Declaration of State SovereigntyNational holiday
ThuJun 121997Day of Signing the Declaration of State SovereigntyNational holiday
FriJun 121998Day of Signing the Declaration of State SovereigntyNational holiday
SatJun 121999Day of Signing the Declaration of State SovereigntyNational holiday
MonJun 141999Day of Signing the Declaration of State Sovereignty observedNational holiday
MonJun 122000Day of Signing the Declaration of State SovereigntyNational holiday
TueJun 122001Day of Signing the Declaration of State SovereigntyNational holiday
WedJun 122002Russia DayNational holiday
ThuJun 122003Russia DayNational holiday
SatJun 122004Russia DayNational holiday
MonJun 142004Russia Day observedNational holiday
SunJun 122005Russia DayNational holiday
MonJun 132005Russia Day observedNational holiday
MonJun 122006Russia DayNational holiday
TueJun 122007Russia DayNational holiday
ThuJun 122008Russia DayNational holiday
FriJun 122009Russia DayNational holiday
SatJun 122010Russia DayNational holiday
MonJun 142010Russia Day observedNational holiday
SunJun 122011Russia DayNational holiday
MonJun 132011Russia Day observedNational holiday
TueJun 122012Russia DayNational holiday
WedJun 122013Russia DayNational holiday
ThuJun 122014Russia DayNational holiday
FriJun 122015Russia DayNational holiday
SunJun 122016Russia DayNational holiday
MonJun 132016Russia Day observedNational holiday
MonJun 122017Russia DayNational holiday
TueJun 122018Russia DayNational holiday
WedJun 122019Russia DayNational holiday
FriJun 122020Russia DayNational holiday

Other holidays in June 2014 in Russia

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