Women’s Day in Russia

Women’s Day in Russia
07 March 2015

On March 8, Russia celebrates Международный женский день, the Women’s Day in Russia, a special day for all women, recognized as national public holiday. Many official buildings and educational institutions are closed on this day but shops and Киоски (kioski) usually work. It often happens that if this day falls on a weekend, the public holiday and so the day off will be moved in most cases, on the following Monday. Women’s Day is very popular in Russia and starting from three days before you can see men and children walking around the city with flowers and special and elegant boxes in their hands. Besides this celebration is so important in Russia that in Moscow region there are 25 streets named after March 8 while across Russia they are over 800.

Women’s day was first observed in 1913, and after women’s public demonstration in Saint Petersburg on March 8, 1917, women first were granted with the right to vote. The following year March 8 was established as national holiday to celebrate women’s fight for their rights, for democracy and equality with men. Nowadays the celebration is free of political meaning and it’s an occasion to celebrates all women, to give pleasant gifts and show them our love and care. It is also an occasion to celebrate mothers and the new season, so on this holiday they create an spring-like atmosphere full of love and positive emotions.

It’s traditionally celebrated with the family or by visiting friends. Usually men give women flowers (tulips, roses and mimosa), postcards and chocolate. Some men offer to take over household duties and let women spend a full day of rest. At work people celebrate the day before, in particular male co-workers give women flowers and they usually have a small party in the office. Concerts and several entertainments are organized in every city to create a festive and joyful mood and unusual events or special evenings are organized in theaters, cinemas or restaurants. (To find out what to do in St Petersburg on this day read here.)

On March 8, women usually receive congratulations and compliments. Sometimes men write short poems with their personal and original wishes to women. Here there are the most common phrases you can use to congratulate with women:

  • С восьмы́м ма́рта! (s vosmim marta) (Happy March 8th )
  • Поздравля́ю с восьмы́м ма́рта! (pozdravlyayu s vosmim marta) (I wish you a happy March 8th!)
  • C Междунаро́дным же́нским днём! [s mezhdunarodnym zhenskym dnom (Happy International Women’s Day!)


С восьмым марта! Enjoy March 8th with the women you love!

Written by: Jessica Carrettiero

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

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