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Russia Day in Russia

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.
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.Â


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.


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
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

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.

Russia Day 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016
Monday, June 13, 2016 – Observed date

Russia Day 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017


Name in other languages

День РоссииRussian
Russia DayEnglish
Tag Russlands (Nationalfeiertag)German

List of dates for other years

United Nation Holiday on June 12, 2016

Fun Holiday on June 12, 2016

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