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International Women's Day in Russia

International Women’s Day in Russia honors women’s achievements on March 8 each year.

Is International Women's Day a Public Holiday?

International Women's Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Two smiling girls with coffee cups taking a selfie in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

International Women's Day is a national holiday in Russia.

©iStockphoto.com/ViewApart

What Do People Do?

International Women’s Day is often celebrated among family or friends with a festive meal and drinks. Many women receive flowers, cards and other gifts on March 8. Many television programs pay tribute to achievements of famous Russian women from the past and the present.

Public Life

International Women’s Day is a public holiday in Russia on March 8. Most banks, official buildings and educational institutions are closed on this day, although shops and kiosks usually stay open. Public transport may run less frequently than usual.

Background

Russian women first observed International Women’s Day on March 2, 1913. They held a demonstration in St Petersburg, which was then Russia’s capital, demanding the right to vote. On March 8, 1917 (February 23, 1917 of the then used Julian calendar), women organized another mass demonstration. Many historians believe this became the start of the Russian Revolution. The Russian Emperor Nicholas II stepped down from the throne four days after the demonstration, and the provisional government granted Russian women the right to vote.

International Women’s Day has been a national holiday in Russia since 1918. It became a non-labor day in 1965. International Women’s Day remained a public holiday in the Russia after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Today it is a holiday to honor motherhood, beauty, and spring. International Women’s Day is also celebrated in other countries around the world.

Symbols

Spring flowers, especially tulips and lilies of the valley, and images of a mother with a child are the most common symbols of International Women’s Day in Russia. These symbols often appear on postcards that men traditionally give women on March 8.

International Women's Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SunMar 8International Women's DayNational holiday
2015MonMar 9International Women's Day observedNational holiday
2016TueMar 8International Women's DayNational holiday
2017WedMar 8International Women's DayNational holiday
2018ThuMar 8International Women's DayNational holiday
2019FriMar 8International Women's DayNational holiday
2020SunMar 8International Women's DayNational holiday
2020MonMar 9International Women's Day observedNational holiday
2021MonMar 8International Women's DayNational holiday
2022TueMar 8International Women's DayNational holiday
2023WedMar 8International Women's DayNational holiday
2024FriMar 8International Women's DayNational holiday
2025SatMar 8International Women's DayNational holiday
2025MonMar 10International Women's Day observedNational holiday

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