Day of the Defender of Fatherland.

On February 23 Russia celebrates the Day of military glory of Russia — Day of the Defender of Fatherland. By tradition, this day congratulate not only the current defenders of the Fatherland, but also the defenders of potential – in other words, all men from small to large. It is becoming more common for women who serve in the military to be honored on this day, and this challenges the traditionally masculine aspect of the holiday.

History of the holiday

 Russian leader Vladimir Lenin signed a decree for the creation of a Bolshevik Army on January 15, 1918. At that time the government of the new Soviet state had only just been formed and the country needed the army. The holiday was originally known as Day of Birth of the Red Army Day.  In the following few years, this holiday was temporarily forgotten, until 1922, when the 4th anniversary of the Red Army was announced and celebrated by the whole Union. The government planned to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the birth of the Red Army on the day of signing the decree. Then they wanted to set the date of celebration on February 17.  But eventually the choice fell on Sunday February 23. A year later the holiday was celebrated under a new name – the day of the Red Army.

In 1946, the holiday was renamed as the Soviet Army Day. From 1949 to 1992 we called it the Soviet Army and Navy Day.

In 2002, the Russian Parliament renamed the holiday as Defender of the Fatherland Day and declared it a non-working day.


The country’s leadership congratulates servicemen of the Russian armed forces, veterans of the second world war and other hostilities. People lay wreaths and flowers to the monuments of Heroic soldiers. TV and radio broadcast festive concerts. Women often give presents and postcards to their male relatives, including those who never served in the military. On a workday before or after the holiday, many women also congratulate their male colleagues. Schoolboys may receive small presents from their female classmates. When I went to kindergarten, we did crafts for classmates.

Here is an example of a gift…

By the way, until 1917 the day of Day of Saint George was the Russian army holiday. He was considered the patron Saint of Russian soldiers.

Author: Elena

Hi, My name is Elena. I am Russian living in the US. My blog is about my life and experience. This is my new hobby. So, please, don't be too hard on me. Thanks

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