Ever heard of International Women’s Day? I hadn’t either, but apparently it is a public holiday carried over from the days of The Soviet Union. It serves as a counterpoint to February 23rd, which is called Defender of the Fatherland Day (also called Red Army day). Originally, this holiday was meant to honor the men who served in the Soviet military, but has now come to be more of a general celebration of all of Russia’s men.
International Women’s Day (March 8th), could be compared to the western Mother’s Day. However, while Mother’s Day is a celebration meant only for mother’s, Women’s Day is a celebration of all women (mothers, grandmothers, daughters, girlfriends, etc…). On this public holiday, many Russian men show their appreciation to thier women by giving them flowers, presents, and having a celebration dinner together with friends and family.