Defender’s Day in Russia

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On the 23rd of February Russia along with several other former Soviet countries will celebrate the Defender’s Day. The history of this commemorative date goes back to the time of the First World War. During this hard period aggravated by the Civil War within the country, the decision was made to form the Workers and Peasants Red Army. Another decree on mobilization called ”The socialist Motherland in danger” was passed on the 21st of February. The two following days were the time when they actually formed the Red Army. One of the two days, the 23rd of February, was chosen to celebrate the foundation of the Red Army. In 1946 when it was renamed into the Soviet Army the official name of this memorable date was changed for the Day of the Soviet Army and Navy. Due to the fact that the military forces of modern Russia are the legal successors of the Soviet Army the celebration of the Defender’s Day is kept as one of the most important national holidays.

As a highly revered commemorative date this holiday is the time to honor the memory of those who were killed on the battlefield in the First World War. A wreath-laying ceremony at the main war memorials in St. Petersburg will take place in the morning. It will be followed by concerts of war songs in almost every district of the city. In the evening there will be fireworks in the city center.

Although there is a particular historical event behind the celebration this holiday, it is often considered as simply “Men’s Day” in Russia. This is the time when men in Russia get presents and feel themselves as the keystone of society. Many shopping malls will organize competitions and tournaments such as a futsal championship. Another way to show your manliness is to take part in a sled dog race on the ice of the Finnish Bay. The distance to be covered is 25 km for adults and 10 km for youth. The organizers hope that the current mild weather in St. Petersburg will not spoil the celebration.

So help us celebrate Men’s Day in Russia by congratulating all men in your life on this special day.