Everyone is talking about Defender of the Fatherland Day. So what’s the scoop? The significance of Defender of the Fatherland Day in Russia is all about recognizing armed forces. It is dedicated to all those who suffered and fought to defend their country.
History of Defender of the Fatherland Day
This public holiday focuses on the accomplishments of military forces and veterans. It is unclear if there is historical evidence behind the February 23 day of celebration. Russian leader Vladimir Lenin signed a decree to create a Bolshevik Army on January 15, 1918. This marks the first mass draft into the Red Army. But on this day in 1922, Russia celebrated its fourth anniversary of the Red Army.
At one point, the Russian parliament voted to have the holiday removed from the holiday list in 2006. But as we can see today, that vote was not successful.
How is Defender of the Fatherland Day Celebrated?
To honor these heroic men, women often give small gifts to their boyfriends, husbands, sons, fathers or male co-workers.
Most schools, banks and official buildings close on this day to honor the military forces and veterans. You will notice that ample Russians observe Defender of the Fatherland Day as men’s day because military service is mandatory for male citizens ages 18-27. They call it military conscription, which basically means a draft. For Russians, this draft usually spans for 12 months.
Parades and ceremonies take place throughout Russia to honor past and present soldiers. They also recognize war veterans. Essentially, Defender of the Fatherland Day in Russia is similar to how the United States celebrates Veterans Day.
Interested in other Russian holidays? Check out 8 Top Russian Holidays here.
Now that you understand the significance of Defender of the Fatherland Day in Russia, use that knowledge to strike up a conversation! In Russia, you would be hard pressed to find a single family that did not suffer a tragic loss of a loved one in battle. When you talk to your Russian sweetheart, spread your thanks and admiration for the males in her family that are or were a part of the military.
For more interesting facts about Russia, click here.
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