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.
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 the 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. The Christmas is celebrated on January 7 with a lot of religious events, but without a lot of entertainments and so on.
Days off: 1 January 2020 – 8 January 2020 (the first workday is January 9)
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 was in the military forces (including women, by the way). But in practice it’s regarded in Russia as Mens’ Day, wider than purely military theme.
Days off: 23 – 24 February
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
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 work day being May 12. Yes, there are a few work days in the middle, from May 6 to May 8, but many people will take vacations.
Days off: 1– 5 May
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
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
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 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
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;
Read also our post on what’s on and what’s off in Russia on a typical holiday.
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: