Here is a list of main Russian holidays in 2019, including Russian public holidays, school holidays, and other widely celebrated holidays in Russia.
Every year, the Russian government makes an announcement about the fixed Russian holidays for the coming year. Whenever Russian public holidays fall on a Tuesday or Thursday, the preceding Monday is usually designated as a bridge public holiday in Russia, with a Saturday nearby then becoming a regular working day. If public holidays in Russia fall on a Saturday or Sunday, an additional day off may be publicly announced.
New Year Russian bank holidays can also sometimes be extended until 7 January (Russian Orthodox Christmas), while the nearest Saturday and/or Sunday may be declared working days. You can check if any of the top Russian festivals fall on a national holiday in Russia, as they are a great way to experience Russian culture and regional Russian food.
Each city in Russia also has an official founding date, with celebrations, fireworks, speeches, food and drink. Moscow’s City Day, for example, is usually celebrated around the first weekend of September with free concerts in Lubyanskaya Square and a varied cultural programme of firework shows, theatre, cinema, farmer’s markets and other excursions. In 2019, Moscow will celebrate its founding on 31 August, while St Petersburg’s City Day is held yearly on 27 May.
Here is a list of Russian national holidays in 2019, as well as other important Russian holidays you should mark on your calendar:
Russia public holidays in 2019
Easter in Russia: Religion plays an important role in many popular Russian holidays.
- 1–4 January: New Year’s holidays;
- Monday, 7 January: Russian Orthodox Christmas Day – the Russian Orthodox Church operates with the Julian calendar, which results in 25 December corresponding to 7 January on the Gregorian calendar;
- Saturday, 23 February: Defender of the Fatherland Day – this holiday commemorates those in the armed forces, was established in 1919 as Red Army Day and later carried the name Soviet Army and Navy Day from 1949 to 1993;
- Friday, 8 March: International Women’s Day;
- Wednesday, 1 May: Spring and Labour Day – once celebrated in the USSR as International Workers’ Solidarity Day, it was renamed Spring and Labour Day in 1992;
- Thursday, 9 May: Victory Day – commemorates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 when the German Instrument of Surrender was delivered to Moscow, ending the Great Patriotic War between 1941 and 1945;
- Wednesday, 12 June: Russia Day – the main Russian public holiday, which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Russian Federation in 1991;
- Thursday, 22 August: National Flag Day – celebrated since 1994 to commemorate the victory over the putschists in 1991, but not classed as a work holiday;
- Monday, 4 November: Unity Day – established in 2004 as Russia’s newest public holiday, it celebrates the liberation of Moscow from Polish troops in 1612 and is named after the fact that Russians of all social classes united together to achieve this. On the same day, the Russian Orthodox Church commemorates one of the most honoured relics in Russia, the icon of Our Lady of Kazan;
- Tuesday, 31 December: New Year’s Eve.
Important Russian holidays
- Friday, 25 January: Tatiana Day – Russian religious holiday;
- The week before Lent, Maslenitsa – an unofficial holiday, this is the Russian equivalent of Mardi Gras;
- Friday, 23 February: Defender of the Fatherland Day – an unofficial tribute to all men where some women and children may give small gifts;
- Thursday, 12 April: Cosmonaut Day;
- Sunday, 28 April: Easter – unofficial holiday;
- Saturday, 6 July: Ivan Kupala Day or Day of John the Baptist – unofficial holiday;
- Wednesday, 30 October: Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression – held since 1991 to remember the victims of Soviet- and imperial-era repression;
- Sunday, 24 November: Mother’s Day – introduced in 1998, but many people still give gifts to their mothers on International Women’s Day in March.
There is no daylight saving time in Russia. There are 11 time zones across the vast country, which are all permanently on winter time.
For a list of celebrated dates in Russia, see our guide to Russia’s festivals and dates.
School holidays in Russia
See our guide to school holidays in Russia.
Photo credit (CC-Licence): Natalia Photos (Russian Easter cake).