Russia Day is a national holiday in Russia observed every year on June 12. When Russia Day falls on a weekend, a weekday holiday is typically announced in its place. When a holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, it is common to announce an additional holiday on Monday or Friday. The day was originally called Russia Independence Day, and it commemorates the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the legitimate approval of the Declaration of State Sovereignty. Surprisingly, many Russians first misunderstood the significance of the occasion. However, many of them have come to see Russian Independence Day as a symbol of the country’s modernization.
History of Russia Day
On December 25, 1991, the country was renamed the Russian Federation. The festival to mark this occasion in the world’s largest country, however, has undergone two name changes since then. And although it was not a national holiday, it was initially termed ‘Independence Day.’ The Russian Supreme Assembly declared June 12 to be a national holiday in 1992. Yet In 1994, President Boris Yeltsin declared the same date a national holiday for the second time. To celebrate the country’s reestablished independence, the creation of the office of President, the adoption of the historical national flag, and a new national song, the day was renamed the ‘Day of the Adoption of the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Russian Federation.’
It was later renamed ‘Russia Day’ on February 1, 2002, and has been celebrated annually since then. While it has been an official holiday since 1991, it was not widely observed until 2003, after Russian President Vladimir Putin embraced and promoted it. The Russian Day celebration, on the other hand, has evolved over time to become a spectacular event. Acrobatic air shows from elite Russian acrobatic teams were the highlight of the 2003 Russia Day event. The military planes were also put on display, leaving a trail in the shape of the Russian flag.
In 2004, the Red Square celebrations were highlighted by a historical military parade in which Russian army personnel and representatives from 89 regions, dressed in national costumes, presented the audience with the most significant historical milestones in Russian history.
Russia Day timeline
The country is officially renamed ‘The Russian Federation.’
Russia’s legislature proclaims June 12 as Independence Day.
Russia’s President, Boris Yeltsin, declares June 12 a national holiday.
The June 12 holiday is officially renamed ‘Russia Day.’
Russia Day FAQs
Which is the most important day in Russia?
Victory Day is without a doubt one of Russia’s most important national holidays. It honors survivors and soldiers of World War II, as well as those who died in the conflict.
Why does Russia celebrate May Day?
May Day was a day in the old Soviet Union when workers were honored with massive parades in Red Square, a custom that faded in the decades afterward.
Which is the biggest Russian holiday?
The New Year’s celebrations are the most anticipated occasion in Russia. Russians celebrate Christmas in the same way as Westerners do, with family, gifts, and plenty of food and drink.
Russia Day Activities
Take a trip to Russia and enjoy amazing events and performances organized all over the country. From military parades to acrobatic shows, Russians never fail to put on a spectacular show for the crowds they attract.
Explore Russian literature
Technology has put an infinite amount of information at your fingertips. Russia Day is an excellent opportunity to discover a wide variety of Russian-related content.
Try Russian Cuisine
You may still participate in the Russia Day celebrations even if you are unable to travel to the country. You can do so by ordering or making a typical Russian cuisine.
5 Facts About Russia
Alcohol was previously classified as foodstuff
Until 2011, any beverage with less than 10% alcohol, such as beer, was considered food rather than an alcoholic beverage.
It has the most time zones
Russia is the world's only country with nine different time zones. There used to be 11, but in 2010 that number reduced.
It’s home to the longest rail system
The Trans-Siberian Railway, which spans almost the whole length of the country, is the world's longest railway.
The world’s deepest lake is there
Lake Baikal is the world's oldest and deepest lake, covering 3.15 million square kilometers in southeast Siberia.
The country lies on two continents
Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, North Korea, Poland, and Ukraine are the 14 nations with which Russia shares borders.
Why We Love Russia Day
It celebrates Russian heritage
The government consistently puts an effort to make sure the festivities on Russia Day tell stories of the renewed independence of the country. The colorful displays and military performances also serve to showcase the country’s solid talent base.
It’s a day off work for Russians
Many Russians regard this holiday as an unofficial start to the summer season. They use the day off to tidy up their gardens or watch fireworks displays.
The festivities are usually grand
The Russian Federation's official awards are presented by the Russian president, in Kremlin. The day's activities usually end with a fireworks show in the evening.
Russia Day dates