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Apr12 Fun Holiday – Yuri's Night

April 12 is Yuri’s Night, an unofficial annual holiday that honors and celebrates human space exploration.

Yuri Gagarin statue

Yuri Gagarin spent about 2 hours in space when his spacecraft, Vostok, completed an orbit around the Earth.


The holiday is a commemoration of the day in 1961 when Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to go into space.

Space Exploration

The day also celebrates the launch of the first space shuttle - the Space Shuttle Columbia - on April 12, 1981.

Created in 2001, 40 years after the first successful human space flight, Yuri’s Night promotes public interest in space exploration and encourages young people to consider professions associated with space exploration and research.

The United Nations has designated April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight.

How to Celebrate?

  • Attend a local Yuri’s Night celebration. If there aren’t any planned in your city, why not organize one with the help of your friends?
  • Read more about the history and science of space exploration.
  • Watch movies and documentaries set in space.
  • Visit your local space museum.

Did You Know…

...that April 12 is celebrated as Cosmonautics Day in Russia? The holiday was established in 1962 in the Soviet Union.

Yuri's Night Observances

Fun Holiday: Yuri's Night Observances
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