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Russia Day: the history of the holiday, the essence and traditions

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When was the holiday established – Russia Day, what was its original name, what is the essence of this solemn day, what are its traditions?

Russia Day is a public holiday, and every year it is officially celebrated in the Russian Federation on June 12. When this holiday appeared, what is its essence, why it is called the birthday of modern Russia, read the material Sputnik Kazakhstan.

What event is associated with the holiday of Russia Day

The holiday, which is called “Russia Day”, began to be celebrated about 30 years ago. A significant celebration for all Russian citizens is associated with the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty in 1990.

State Holiday of Russia

Russia Day has a fixed date – it is celebrated on June 12 every year. Russia Day is a public holiday, so it is officially a weekend.


June 12, 1990 became a landmark date when the first Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR approved the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Russia. In this historical document, it was clearly stated that the principle of the supremacy of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and its laws applies throughout the country. This event can be considered the starting point of the modern history of the state.

“At the same congress, Boris Yeltsin was elected chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, and exactly a year later, on the same day, the first presidential elections of the Russian Federation were held in the country, in which he won with 57.3% of the votes,” says Nikolai Bukanev, a writer and popularizer of history.

When the holiday was founded, as it was originally called

The holiday of Russia Day was founded on June 11, 1992 by Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation No. 2981-I “On the holiday of June 12”. Two years later, in 1994, it received the status of a state one, and it was called “The Day of the Adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Russia.” They changed the name to the familiar version of “Russia Day” in 2002.

Traditions – how to celebrate the holiday

On this holiday, themed festive events are held throughout Russia. The main festivities are held in the capital of Russia – in Moscow, on Red Square, where not only festive events take place, but also colorful fireworks.
Another traditional part of the festive program is the presentation of State Prizes by the president under the arches of the Kremlin. The tradition of awarding cultural and scientific figures on this day has existed since 1995.
Other Russian cities will have their own thematic programs, promotions and events dedicated to this holiday.
A mandatory part of the festive program for the Day of Russia in most localities of the country is various mass events, patriotic actions, folk festivals.

What is the essence of the holiday

“Many Russian citizens celebrate June 12 simply as a day off, and some of them do not know not only its history, but also the correct name. So, according to polls by the Levada Center, many mistakenly call this holiday “Independence Day” by analogy with similar ones in other countries,” says Russian Candidate of Historical Sciences, associate Professor Maria Kosorukova.

However, if we turn to the meaning of the holiday, on Russia Day, citizens celebrate not independence, but the proclamation of the country’s state sovereignty, as well as the start of a completely new stage in Russian history, into which the state entered as the Russian Federation.

“Russia Day has been celebrated in our country for almost a quarter of a century. Its origins are historically inextricably linked with the processes that our country experienced in the last years of the USSR. Nevertheless, over the years, its meaning has acquired new meanings. If in 1990 the proclamation of sovereignty meant the beginning of a break with the communist past, then nowadays, the fact of real sovereignty is one of the fundamental conditions for the existence of an independent Russia. So for Russians, June 12 is a wonderful day to remember their love for their native country,” says Nikolai Bukanev.

Symbols and attributes

The state symbols of each country include, first of all, the coat of arms, the flag and the anthem. Simultaneously with the adoption of the Constitution on December 12, 1993, the development of new state symbols of Russia began in Russia. In December 2000, the State Duma adopted laws on the state symbols of the Russian Federation – the coat of arms, flag and anthem.

One of the main symbols of the holiday is the tricolor. On June 12, it can be found in squares, houses, in car windows, many Russians hang smaller copies of the flag on balconies.

Official events

Every year, in honor of Russia Day, many festive events take place throughout the country in the central squares of cities and cultural institutions. These events include federal rallies and marathons. In Moscow alone, in the past 2023, more than 100 different events were held as part of the festive program. In total, over three and a half million people took part in the celebrations across the country.
In St. Petersburg, in previous years, a festive concert for the Day of Russia was held on the Cathedral Square of the Peter and Paul Fortress. On the same day, many young Petersburgers were handed their first passports.

Folk festivals

Various concerts and festivals remain the most traditional festive events. For example, at VDNKH last year, guests were expected to have a large-scale event program with the participation of musicians, actors and popularizers of science; the annual Russia Music Festival was held at the Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve, in Friendship Parks, Kuzminki and Dubki, the Levoberezhye recreation area, the Hermitage Garden, the manor Creative workshops and concerts were held in Vorontsovo.
The celebration program often includes various sporting events, and thematic exhibitions and expositions can be visited in museums and cultural centers.


Russia Day is a holiday for every citizen of Russia. You can congratulate almost everyone with it: bosses and colleagues, partners and family members, children and adults.

The modern meaning of the Day of Russia

Russia Day is a public holiday that symbolizes the unity, cohesion and diversity of our country. Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the State Duma, noted that this day is a celebration of all those who are proud of Russia, believe in it and feel responsible for its present and future. Russia is rich in historical and cultural traditions, as well as a variety of peoples, languages, religions and customs within its borders. Russia Day highlights the importance of unity, harmony and mutual respect between all citizens of the country.



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