Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Russia Series at RussianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Russian holidays and observances. I’m Jenny, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 4, International Women’s Day.
So listeners, what is the favorite holiday of all members of the fairer sex in Russia? Naturally, It's March 8, International Women’s Day, or in Russian, Международный женский день (Mezhdunarodnyy zhenskiy den'), a day when men lavish care and attention on women. In this lesson, I will tell you exactly how this spring holiday is celebrated in Russia.
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you- what kind of flowers do you think that women are most often given on March 8?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
International Women’s Day in Russia was celebrated for the first time on March 3, 1913. On March 8, 1917, striking workers and ordinary women took to the streets of Petrograd, marking the actual start of the February revolution. In memory of that day, in 1921, the Soviet Union established the holiday of March 8 as International Women’s Day. Since 1965, March 8 has been a national holiday as well.
On this day, all men congratulate women and give them подарки (padarki) or presents. People will typically greet and congratulate not only their own families, but friends, coworkers, and strangers as well. Many events and concerts take place on March 8, and the movie “Office Romance”, or in Russian, Служебный роман Sluzhebnyy raman, is traditionally shown on TV. Men give presents to women, usually flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and sometimes even romantic trips.
As March 8 is a day off work, congratulations and celebrations begin as early as March 7. At the office, men congratulate their female coworkers and give them flowers; as a rule, after work, they lay a small festive table. Some companies even arrange a company party.
Bouquets in Russia should always be composed of an odd number of flowers. Even numbers of flowers are brought only to funerals. For that reason, men need to be very careful if they arrange the bouquet themselves.
So, what kind of flowers do you think women are most often given on March 8?
The most common flower given on March 8 are tulips, or тюльпаны (tyul'pany) and roses, or розы (rozy). Recently, it has even become popular to give live flowers in pots.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything new?
What kind of presents do people give each other in your country?
Leave a comment at RussianPod101.com, and I’ll see you in the next lesson!