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День России: Celebrating Russia Day the Russian Way

Did you know that the National Day of Russia is also the country’s newest holiday? Russia Day didn’t become an official holiday until 1994, four years after Russia became an independent Штат (shtat), or “state.”

In this article, you’ll learn how Russians celebrate this holiday, why it’s such a significant (and sometimes controversial) day, and some useful vocabulary.

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1. What is Russia Day?

The Russian Flag Waving in the Breeze Russia Day is the national day of Russia, marking the date in 1990 when Russia adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty, making Russia an independent state. In 1994, Russia began celebrating this as a national holiday, and in 2002, it received its official name: День России (Den’ Rasii), or “Russia Day.”

At one point, it was common for people to refer to the Russian national day as Russia Independence Day, though this later changed as there was some dispute over who Russia gained independence from.

The Russia Day holiday is a point of conflict for some Russians. Generally, the older population has negative or bitter feelings about the origins of this holiday, as it marked the Распад СССР (raspat SSSR), or “collapse of the USSR.” The younger generation tends to think of it as the country’s birthday and thus celebrate it more fervently.



2. When is Russia Day Each Year?

Russia Day is on June 12 Each year, Russia Day takes place on June 12, or 12 июня (12 iyunya).

3. Russia Day Celebrations & Traditions

Красная Площадь (Krasnaya ploshad`), or “Red Square,” may be the most popular place to visit during Russia Day. Each year, there’s a special Концерт (kantsert), or “concert,” here, in addition to a variety of other celebratory events. People enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones, visiting their country houses, and attending the many events that take place on this day.

Some cities may put on a Russian national day parade, and certain cities—called Master Cities—host events where people can gather to watch masters of ancient arts perform and demonstrate their prowess.

Another famous event on Russia’s national day is the giving of National Awards at the Grand Kremlin Palace. The Russian president offers awards to Russians of high repute, such as renowned scientists or writers. There’s also a large reception held at the Kremlin.



4. The 2017 Russia Day Awards



Quite a few people received a Russia Day award in 2017. Do you know who they were?

In 2017, recipients of the Russia Day awards included Eduard Artemyev (composer), Yuri Grigorovich (choreographer), Mikhail Piotrovsky (Heritage Museum director), and Daniil Granin (writer).

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Russia Day



The Red Square in Moscow Ready to review some of the vocabulary words and phrases from this article? Here’s a quick list!

  • Концерт (kantsert) — “concert” [n. masc]
  • День России (Den’ Rasii) — “Russia Day” [masc]
  • Красная Площадь (Krasnaya ploshad`) — “Red Square” [fem]
  • Салют (salyut) — “firework” [n. masc]
  • Массовое гуляние (massavaye gulyaniye) — “public celebration” [neut]
  • Штат (shtat) — “state” [n. masc]
  • Суверенитет (suverenitet) — “sovereignty” [n. masc]
  • 12 июня (12 iyunya) — “June 12”
  • День независимости (Den’ nezavisimasti) — “Independence Day”
  • Образование Российской Федерации (abrazavaniye Rassiyskay Federatsyi) — “formation of Russian Federation”
  • Толпа (talpa) — “crowd” [n. fem]
  • Распад СССР (raspat SSSR) — “collapse of the USSR”


To hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase, be sure to visit our Russia Day vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Russia Day with us, and that you took away some valuable cultural information.

What’s the national day of your country, and how do you celebrate? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about Russian culture and the language, RussianPod101.com has many free resources for you, straight from our blog:



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