Russians love to celebrate, and Russia's public holidays should not be treated lightly.
For the most important holidays - New Year's, Christmas, the Women Day and May holidays - many shops close down completely and city streets become strangely quiet. All government offices are closed on public holidays, and most overseas embassies are too.
Sometimes it can be a little complicated figuring out which days the country shuts down.
If the holiday falls on a Monday or a Friday, then everything is simple - it's a day off. If it falls on a weekend, then the Friday or Monday will also be a day off.
If it falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday then the weekend will be shifted a day in the right direction and the Saturday or Sunday becomes a working day, with the three days off being Sunday-Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday-Saturday.
If the holiday falls on a Wednesday then there is no long weekend.
Russian Holiday Schedule
New Year's Day Day January 1,2
Christmas Day January 7
Defenders of the Motherland Day February 23
Labor Day/May Day May 1, 2
Victory Day May 9
Independence Day June 12
Day of Accord and Reconciliation
(The holiday formerly known as the
Day of the Great October Revolution) November 7
Constitution Day December 12