23 February Is Unofficial Men's Holiday in Russia23 February became an unofficial men’s holiday in Russia, although formally it’s known as Defender of Fatherland Day. It was also known as Russian Army Day or Red Army Day until 2002.

Former Soviet Union republics Belarus, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan celebrate this day as well.

It is a public holiday in Russia. In 2016 23 February falls on Tuesday.

The Time to Acknowledge Men

The Time to Acknowledge Men

Ladies prepare surprises for their boyfriends and husbands.

In Russia 23 February became widely accepted as the time to acknowledge men. Every Russian male is supposed to serve compulsory time in the army or navy, unless found medically unsuitable or have completed basic military training as a part of his university studies. Therefore, every man is supposedly a defender of homeland.

The reason for this holiday is in popularity of Women’s Day 8 March in Russia. Because the female day is a public holiday, it was natural for people to find an equivalent that would give some recognition to males. Think Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, for example. Although Russian men are not as fussy about gifts and celebrations as women are.

In anticipation of the Women’s Day 8 March, ladies prepare surprises for their boyfriends and husbands, as well as male colleagues. Cards and small souvenirs are given to gentlemen at work, shaving cream and socks (maybe shirts) to partners.

Ukraine cancelled this holiday in 2014, after the conflict with Russia escalated post appropriation of Crimea.

Therefore, if you get some greetings with “Men’s Day” from women on or before 23 February, most likely it will be from Russian girls.


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Since 2002 Defender of Fatherland Day 23 Febriary has been a public holiday in Russia. Most people are off on this day.


I usually give presents only to my father and grandfather and give some money at work for our “boys”. I don’t celebrate this holiday and don’t give any presents to my friends. There are many other days for preparing something pleasant for them.


I love the holiday because it’s a day off. I love to give gifts, because it gives us a chance to smile once again. But this holiday is not really important and worthy of great presents, only small gifts for dad, grandpa, husband, brother or son.


I think it will be funny to remind women not to buy something like shower gel or razor:D