Public Holidays And Days Off In Russia In 2020 UPDATED
That’s how the Russian schedule of public holidays and days off for the year 2020 looks like. Please, keep in mind that some workdays have become days off and vice versa, when planning your visit to St. Petersburg. We indicated when a holiday is celebrated and when the days off take place.
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UPDATE: We have a new day off, July 1, the day of the national referendum on the amendments to the Constitution.
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Public Holidays Schedule in Russia 2020
New Year and the Orthodox Christmas: December 31 and January 7
New Year’s Eve is the main celebration in Russia, while Christmas is a great event for more religious people. The New Year’s arrival is widely celebrated on December 31/ January 1 through the night. Christmas is celebrated on January 7 with a lot of religious events, but without a lot of entertainment and so on.
Days off: 1 January 2020 – 8 January 2020 (the first workday is January 9)
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The Defender of the Fatherland’s Day: February 23
Its date is 23rd of February, with all congratulations going to all men, not only those who served or was enlisted, though the festival is initially only for those who were in the military forces (including women, by the way). But in practice, it’s regarded in Russia as Mens’ Day, wider than a purely military theme.
Days off: 23 – 24 February
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International Women’s Day: March 8
As in the rest of the world, it’s on March 8. It relates to all women of all ages. Any good wishes and flowers are appropriated as gifts.
Days off: 8 – 9 March
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Spring and Labor Day: 1 May
Initially a purely ideological event, it’s now just a day off for most Russians, without any reference to the Communist era. It’s celebrated on May 1 and serves mostly as a tradition, not a real dedication to spring and labor. It’s a start for long May holidays, which many Russians consider as vacations and intensely book abroad destinations. When we mean long holidays we tell about a time period from May 1 to May 11, with the first workday being May 12. Yes, there are a few workdays in the middle, from May 6 to May 8, but many people will take vacations.
Days off: 1– 5 May
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The Victory’s Day: May 9
The most important and tearful festival in the country. It’s the same festival which the rest of the world celebrates on May 8. Why is it May 9 in Russia? It’s simple: at the moment of the signing of Germany’s capitulation, it was already May 9 in the Soviet Union.
Days off: 9 – 11 May
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The Independence Day: June 12
An average Russian will hardly tell you what and when occurred on this day. Well, we know it: the Russian republic declared its independence from the USSR, but with being part of the USSR. It happened in 1990. Yes, more than a year and a half before the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991.
Day off: June, 12
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The Victory parade: June 24
The parade postponed from May 9 to the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War will be held on June 24 at Palace Square.
Day off: June, 24
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The Constitutional Referendum Day: July 1
In January 2020, Russian president Vladimir Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly proposed a few amendments to the country’s Constitution. Later, the Russian parliament proposed its additions to them, including the one that allows for Putin to be reelected again in 2024. President said he wants people’s approval, though it’s not necessary from a legal point of view as the amendments have already been approved by regional parliaments. According to Kremlin’s initiative, the voting day will be a day off. It’s an attempt to draw voters amid growing people’s dissatisfaction with Putin’s governance, ubiquitous corruption, low salaries, incapability to cope with an ongoing economic crisis, very poor public services, and huge incomes of those in power.
Day off: July, 1
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The National Unity Day: November 4
In the Soviet times, there was a great celebration on November 7, the day of the Bolshevik Revolution (October 25, 1917, according to the Old Style). In the early 2000s, an idea to kiss goodbye the Revolution Day occurred to someone in the Kremlin, so Russian authorities were keen to find another day to celebrate something to keep a day off for people. A story in the Russian medieval history was luckily found.
Day off: November, 4
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Other Russian festivals which don’t affect an ordinary schedule, but worth keeping in mind
• Maslenitsa (Mardi Gras, Pancake Week) will be celebrated on February 24 — March 1, 2020;
• the Orthodox Easter will take place on April 19, 2020;
• a solemn opening of the Peterhof fountains usually falls on the third Saturday of May, which is May 16, 2020;
• the St. Petersburg’s birthday is on May 27 (usually celebrated on a weekend).
• Peterhof Autumn Fountain Show will take place in September 2020;
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Read also our post on what’s on and what’s off in Russia on a typical holiday.
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You can easily book transfer or excursions online through an international aggregator which secures your payment in your currency and a seat and ensures a safe deal:
The official schedule of public holidays and days off for the year 2020 in Russia. And other holidays which don't affect an ordinary schedule, but worth keeping in mind.