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Defender of the Fatherland Day

23. February 2010 by Christy 0 Comments

Today, citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and other republics of the Former Soviet Union are celebrating Defender of the Fatherland Day also known as Men’s Day. Historically, the holiday celebrates Russian men who served in the Armed Forces, but is now a celebration of men in general.

Defender of the Fatherland Day marks the date in 1918 during the Russian Civil War when the first mass draft into the Red Army occurred in Petrograd and Moscow. Throughout the years, Russians have referred to the holiday as Red Army Day, Soviet Army and Navy Day, Defender of the Fatherland Day, and, more recently, Men’s Day.

This year, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev awarded World War II hero Nikolay Novikov an Order of the Red Star for his heroic efforts in holding off Hitler's forces during the Siege of Leningrad. A state commission, with the help of volunteers, regularly searches for unrecognized veterans who have bravely served Russia, and Defender of the Fatherland Day is the perfect day to honor these unsung heroes.

Russian women celebrate Men’s Day by giving small gifts to the Russian men in their lives including fathers, husbands, boyfriends, sons, brothers, and co-workers. The holiday has come to be a counterpart of International Women’s Day on March 8, a day honoring the economic, political, and social achievements of women.

Learning about the holidays and traditions of Russia or the Ukraine, such as Defender of the Fatherland Day, is an excellent way for gentlemen to impress a special lady and show that he is interested in her life and culture. If you’re chatting with a lady today, be sure to ask her how she celebrated this significant Russian holiday.


Photo: RT.com