The way the International Women’s Day, 8th of March, is celebrated in Russia differs much from how they do it in many other countries. The most important thing you should know is that this is a day off, when governmental bodies and other public establishments are closed, with only emergency, transport units, shops and entertainments running.
The biggest difference with other countries is that the Women’s Day is Russia is absolutely of anti-political nature. No strikes, no protests, no even peaceful demonstrations, just nothing like that. It’s even more surprising for the country who in its previous «edition» (USSR) hoisted the flag of the communism that used the US-born holiday as one of its greatest events. Well, maybe it happens because Russia is a country of the winning gender equity, so no sense in fighting for equal rights?
8th of March in Russia is the day when the women are being given flowers and gifts, we mean any female no matter age and social position.
The etiquette rules say that you can give a gift or flowers (uneven quantity) to any woman or girl even if you are not a friend or familiar with her though this kind of behavior is not that common. A simple phrase «Congratulations» (in Russian: «С праздником!» — «S prazdnikom!») told to a girl at a ticket-office or a vendor at a shop or any woman at any place is OK.
No special big events like a military parade or a salute on the Defender’s Day of the Fatherland are planned in the city.
It’s just a day off, when women get a lot of attention and gifts and when vendors of flowers get half of their annual income (it’s not a joke, sometimes it’s even more than a half).
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