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State holidays include: The New-year’s Day (the 1st of January) Defender of Motherland Day (the 23rd of February) Constitution Day (the 12th of December) Women’s Day (the 8th of March) May Day (the 1st of May) Independence Day (the 12th of June)
Religious holidays are Christmas (the7th of January) Easter Shrovetide St.Valentine’s Day (the 14th of February)
Profession and honoured holidays are The Day of Knowledge (the 1th of September) The Teacher’s Day (the 5th of October)
Personal and family holidays are Birthdays Anniversaries Wedding days Days of graduation
New Year’s Day The tradition of celebrating of New Year’s Day is very old, and goes back to pagan (язычество) past. It represented an important event- the weakening (ослабление) winter and the close coming of the spring. As centuries passed, it changed it place in calendar and was celebrated in spring (when the new agricultural year began) and in September (after the harvest (уборка хлеба) had been reaped). But Peter the Great ordered to celebrate it on the 1st of January) decorating houses and rooms with evergreen plants and making fireworks.
Nowadays New Year’s Day is celebrated on the 1st of January. People are very busy. They send postcards and buy presents for their families and friends, decorate their houses and prepare a festive dinner. On this day people wish each other «Happy New Year». There is a lot of dancing and eating.
Nowadays Women’s Day is the day when men congratulate girls and women, give them presents and flowers, and do the housework.
Victory Day It is the day when people remember the heroic deeds of the grandfathers during the Great Patriotic war. This holiday is celebrated all over the country. On this holiday the parade of the veterans of the Great Patriotic war is held in the Red Square
Independence Day On the 12th of June in 1991 the first President of Russia was elected.
Christmas The Christmas story comes from the Bible. An angel appeared to shepherds (пастухи) and told them that a Saviour (спаситель) had been born to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem. The wise men from the East followed star which led them to the baby Jesus to whom they paid homage (клятвенное обещание), presented gifts of gold, myrrh (мирра).
Nowadays It is a day when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Easter On this day the Revival of Jesus Christ is celebrated. The date of Easter changed every year. Traditional gifts are coloured eggs.
The week is followed by Lent (пост). That’s why people want to eat and drink at pleasure. The traditional dish is pancakes. Shrovetide is celebrated with out-door parties, shows and the guy of winter burnt in the end.
St.Valentine’s Day The holiday has come from the English-speaking countries. There are many legends about St.Valentine. Some people say he was a priest who married lovers against the Roman (римский) laws. Others don’t agree with this. They say that this day, February, 14, was the day when young Romans chose their sweethearts (возлюбленные) for the year and exchanged the tokens (знаки) of love. Since then the day has become very popular.
Nowadays St.Valentine’Day is a day of those who are in love. Chocolate and flowers are popular gifts on this day.