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The History of the March 8 Holiday in Russia
March 6, 2013 16:53


(Source: http://omotja.com.ua/soviet_postcards/8_march)

What do we associate with our favorite holiday - International Women's Day? Of course, spring, women and flowers. But this holiday has its historical roots, and if we look at the past we will see that initially it had political coloration and emerged as a day of women's struggle for their rights. Let's look at the background of the holiday and trace the major milestones on the way of its emergence in our country. 

March 8 was first celebrated in Russia in St. Petersburg in 1913 under the slogan of the struggle for economic and political equality of women. Political readings were held in the city on this day, they were attended by about fifteen hundred women. At the beginning of the First World War (1914 - 1918) March 8 was not celebrated as International Women's Day, there were only spontaneous meetings against poor living conditions and high costs of products. Before 1917 the Russian Empire managed to go through International Women's Day without any major convulsions, whereas February 23 (March 8) of 1917 gave the events a serious pass. On this day thousands of female workers of Petrograd went out to the streets to protest against the war and food shortages. Meetings and demonstrations escalated into strikes, strikes turned into clashes with the Cossacks and the Police, then into street battles and riots. Meetings and protests of the women perturbed with their humble position on February 27, 1917 turned into an armed uprising, the February Revolution, the collapse of the monarchy and the state. International Women's Day on 8 March became a national holiday from the first years of the Soviet power, at that, the Soviet Union for a long time has been the only country to officially recognize it. During the Great Patriotic War the Soviet women celebrated International Women's Day under the slogan of further strengthening of the military power of the Soviet Union and the mobilization of all country's forces and reserves to help the front line.

In 1965 March 8 became a public holiday in our country. There were also festive ritual ceremonies: the officials annually accounted to the public on the results of the state policy regarding women. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the holiday of March 8 remained in the list of public holidays of the Russian Federation.

Some former Soviet republics continue to celebrate March 8, and some of them quickly got rid of the "Soviet legacy". Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Belarus still celebrate March 8 as International Women's Day, in Uzbekistan it is Mother's Day. Armenian people alongside with celebrating March 8 celebrate also April 7 – The Day of Maternity and Beauty.

Nowadays International Women's Day gradually ceased to be the day of political actions; meetings and solemn assemblies were replaced by get-togethers and celebrations at home and at work. The changes in the coloration of the holiday are obviously for the better: not the rights of women, but the women themselves are now at the centre of the holiday.

Wherever you are in the world, you may want to send a special message to your loved ones, family and friends, or business colleagues in Russia. Our partners provide you with an amazingly wide choice of arrangement of all kinds of flowers. You are sure to find a floral present that will send the right message, while also suiting your budget. Order flowers to Russia by phone or online and they will arrive within hours of your purchase.

Legal advice on Russian legislation 




Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: International Women's Day March 8    

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