|Defender of the Fatherland Day|
|Observed by||Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan|
|Significance||Celebrates the armed forces and commemorates the founding of the Red Army|
|Observances||Wreath laying ceremonies, concerts, parades|
|Next time||23 February 2022|
Defender of the Fatherland Day (Russian : День защитника ОтечестваDen' zashchitnika Otechestva); Kazakh : Отан қорғаушы күні; Tajik : Рӯзи Дорандаи Ватан; Kyrgyz : Мекенди коргоочулардын күнү; Belarusian : Дзень абаронцы Айчыны) is a holiday observed in Russia, Turkmenistan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. It is celebrated on 23 February, except in Kazakhstan, where it is celebrated on 7 May. In Russia and Belarus, it is a federal holiday and, usually, an off-day. Ukraine abolished the holiday starting 1992 (although its Russophone population still commemorates the Soviet Army legacy to this day) and, after the Revolution of Dignity, has instated the somewhat similar Defender of Ukraine Day on 14 October.
First celebrated in 1919, the holiday marks the date in 1918 during the Russian Civil War when the first mass draft into the Red Army occurred in Petrograd and Moscow (on 17 February). : День Красной Армии). In 1923, it was officially named Day of the Red Army and the Navy.In January 1919, it was decided to combine the celebration of that day with the anniversary of the publication of the decree on the establishment of the Red Army (of 18 February 1918). In 1919, 17 February fell on a Monday, so it was decided to move the holiday to the nearest Sunday – 23 February. That choice of day has been retained ever since. It was originally known as "Red Army Day" (Russian
In 1949, it was renamed to Soviet Army and Navy Day (Russian: День Советской армии и Военно-морского флота, romanized: Dyen' Sovyetskoy armii i Voyenno-morskogo flota). Following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the holiday was given its current name in 2002 by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who decreed it a state holiday (in Russia).
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Officially, as the name suggests, the holiday celebrates people who are serving or were serving the Russian Armed Forces (both men and women, both military and civilian personnel), but unofficially, nationally it has also come to include the celebration of men as a whole, and to act as a counterpart of International Women's Day on March 8.
The holiday is celebrated with parades and processions in honor of veterans, and women also give small gifts to men in their lives, especially husbands (or boyfriends, fiances), fathers, sons and brothers. As a part of the workplace culture, women often give small gifts to their male co-workers. Consequently, in colloquial usage, the holiday is often referred to as "Men's Day" (Russian: День мужчин, romanized: Den' muzhchin).
One of the holiday traditions in Moscow is a ceremony near the Kremlin, the laying of wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Russian President, the heads of both chambers of parliament, military leaders, representatives of other branches of government, heads of political parties as well as Russian Orthodox Church officialsarrive at the Alexander Garden which is located near the Moscow Kremlin walls. After a moment of silence, the national anthem is played and a solemn march of an honour guard unit passes. In the evening, the country's leadership is present at a concert dedicated to the holiday on the State Kremlin Palace. Also in the evening in Moscow and in many other cities of Russia, fireworks are displayed. A military parade on Omsk's Cathedral Square is held on 23 February.
In Belarus, the holiday (known as Дзень абаронцы Айчыны in the Belarusian language) celebrates the date of 23 February 1918, the date of the formation of the armed forces of modern day Belarus. It was made an official holiday by President Alexander Lukashenko on 25 March 2004. Traditionally, on 23 February, the President of Belarus lays a wreath at the monument on Victory Square in Minsk. Being that they both celebrate the holiday, soldiers of the Armed Forces of Belarus and Russian Armed Forces soldiers also hold joint festive events on 23 February.
In Israel, a version of the holiday exists as Yom HaZikaron, a national remembrance day observed in Israel held in 4 Iyar in the Hebrew calendar for all Israeli military personnel in the Israel Defense Forces who lost their lives in the struggle that led to the establishment of the State of Israel and for those who have been killed subsequently while on active duty in Israel's armed forces. This holiday is observed by a number of Jews who have emigrated from Russia and various post-Soviet states.
In Kazakhstan, Defender of the Fatherland Day is celebrated on 7 May.The Kazakh Armed Forces was established on this date 1992 and was only made national holiday in October 2012. The holiday often coincides with the Victory Day celebrations on May 9.
In Kyrgyzstan, Defender of the Fatherland Day is a non-working holiday. In Bishkek, there is a military parade of the Bishkek Garrison.The holiday was first introduced in the country by the Government of Kyrgyzstan on January 20, 2003. Personnel of the Kyrgyz Army have their own professional holiday on May 29, which is the Day of the Armed Forces of Kyrgyzstan.
February 23 is an official holiday in the partially recognized Republic of South Ossetia. The country's leadership pay to veterans who served in the Soviet Army as well as all those who served in the Armed Forces of South Ossetia and died in the 1991–1992 South Ossetia War and the Russo-Georgian War. The holiday also coincide with festive events that surround the creation of the Ministry of Defense of the republic.[ citation needed ]
In Tajikistan, the holiday is known as "Tajik National Army Day" (Tajik : Рӯзи Артиши Миллӣ Тоҷик), celebrating the Tajik National Army. However, it has been known that other military units, such as the Tajik Air Force, have taken part in the celebration.
In Transnistria, Defender of the Fatherland Day is a public holiday. The main celebrations are held in Tiraspol. They are attended by the President of the republic and the heads of defence/law enforcement agencies.By decree of President Igor Smirnov on 13 June 2001, it was included in the list of professional holidays and is a non-working holiday.
Defender of the Fatherland Day (Turkmen : Watan gününiň goragçysy) in Turkmenistan is celebrated on 27 January, celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan. It was previously celebrated as Army Day until President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow changed its name in 2009. The Ministry of Defense organizes festive concerts and activities in military units on this day. The current military doctrine was adopted on the eve of the holiday in 2016.
In Ukraine, Defender of the Fatherland Day (Ukrainian : День захисника Вітчизни/ Den' zakhysnyka Vitchyzny) was never celebrated as a state holiday. In 1999 President Leonid Kuchma recognized 23 February as Defenders of the Fatherland Day. President Petro Poroshenko deprived the day of this status on 24 August 2014; according to Poroshenko, Ukraine should not celebrate the holidays of the "military-historical calendar of Russia" but "will honor the defenders of our homeland, not someone else's". On 14 October 2014, a decree by Poroshenko moved the celebration to that day instead by creating Defender of Ukraine Day.
Today, even though it is not a public holiday, many women will still give some extra attention to male relatives, friends, husbands and boyfriends, especially to those serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.Armed Forces Day for the entire Armed Forces is celebrated yearly on 6 December with special programs and nationwide gun salutes and fireworks displays.
The Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic continue to celebrate Defender of the Fatherland Day.[ citation needed ]
Victory Day is a holiday that commemorates the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945. It was first inaugurated in the 15 republics of the Soviet Union, following the signing of the German Instrument of Surrender late in the evening on 8 May 1945. The Soviet government announced the victory early on 9 May after the signing ceremony in Berlin. Although the official inauguration occurred in 1945, the holiday became a non-labour day only in 1965, and only in certain Soviet republics.
Several nations observe or have observed a Navy Day to recognize their navy.
Many nations around the world observe some kind of Armed Forces Day to honor their military forces. This day is not to be confused with Veterans Day or Memorial Day.
The following is the list of official public holidays recognized by the Government of Russia. On these days, government offices, embassies and some shops, are closed. If the date of observance falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be a day off in lieu of the holiday.
Defender of the Motherland Day also known as Uzbek Army Day is a holiday observed in Uzbekistan. It is celebrated on 14 January. It is the official professional holiday of the Uzbek Armed Forces.
Public holidays in Ukraine
Several nations with an armed forces observe an Air Force Day or Day of the Air Force as a military holiday to recognize their country's air force. These holidays often hold the same status as any military's Armed Forces Day.
Victory Day over Nazism in World War II or Victory Day is a national holiday and a day off in Ukraine. It was first celebrated on 9 May 2015 and follows the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation on May 8. The holiday replaced the Soviet Union/Russian Federation "Victory Day", which was celebrated in the post-Soviet Union states, including Ukraine, until 2014 inclusive. CIS member states boycott this holiday and referred to the Ukrainians as "revanchists", "ultra-nationalist" and "forgot the bitter lessons of Great Patriotic War".
Defender of the Fatherland Day is a national holiday celebrated annually on May 7, commemorating the founding of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan. The event is marked by military parades, fireworks and ceremonies all around the country. The holiday is perceived in society as "a men’s day" and is considered to be the Kazakh analogue to the International Women’s Day.
Defender of Ukraine Day is a state holiday in Ukraine celebrated annually on 14 October. Its first celebration was in 2015. Starting from 2015, this day is considered a public holiday.
Russian Air Force Day is a professional military holiday of Russia celebrated on 12 August to honor the active and reserve personnel, as well as veterans of the Russian Aerospace Forces.
Armed Forces Day also known as Tajik National Army Day or Defender of the Fatherland Day is a national holiday celebrated annually on 23 February, commemorating the founding of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Tajikistan. The event is marked by military parades, fireworks and ceremonies around of the country.
Day of the Workers of the Ukrainian Navy is holiday in Ukraine. The holiday celebrates the founding of the Ukrainian Navy. Navy Day is a professional holiday that is celebrated on every first Sunday of July.
Victory Day Parades are common military parades that are held on 9 May in various post-soviet nations, primarily Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and formerly Ukraine. They are usually held to honor the traditional Victory Day holiday. In 2015, the Ukrainian government had renamed the holiday as "Victory Day over Nazism in World War II" as part of decommunization laws. However, even after the change, a vast amount of the populace still honors Ukrainian-Soviet troops who fought in World War II with traditional Victory Day parades.
The Liberation Day of Ukraine, officially the Day of Liberation of Ukraine from Fascist Invaders is a holiday celebrated annually on October 28 in Ukraine. It commemorates the Liberation of Ukraine from Nazi Germany on 28 October 1944.
Border Guards Day, also known as Frontier Guards Day is a former Soviet holiday that celebrates the Border guard services of Russia and former Soviet republics. It is currently observed in Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Moldova on 28 May - the day of the anniversary of the formation of the Soviet Border Troops in 1918.
Police and Internal Affairs Servicemen's Day, commonly known outside Russia as the Day of the Police is a public holiday celebrated in Russia and most post-Soviet republics which honors all those serving in their national police. Russia, being the most notable country to celebrate the holiday was a pioneer in the celebrations, using the occasion to honor the Police of Russia.
Airborne Forces Day also known as Paratroopers' Day is a professional military holiday in Russia and other countries, celebrated on 2 August annually. It is the official holiday of the former Soviet Airborne forces.
The Day of Remembrance and Sorrow is a memorable date celebrated annually on 22 June in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. It honors the anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. On 13 June. the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Russia declared that 22 June should be marked as the Remembrance Day for Defenders of the Fatherland. It was established by decree of President of Russia Boris Yeltsin on 8 June 1996.
Defender of the Fatherland Day is a professional holiday for the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan celebrated annually on 27 January. It commemorates the de facto anniversary of founding of Turkmenistan's National Army in 1992 via the founding of the Ministry of Defense. The event is marked by military parades, fireworks and ceremonies all around the country. The holiday is perceived to be the Turkmen analogue to the Defender of the Fatherland Day in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States celebrated traditionally on 23 February. It was previously celebrated as Army Day until President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow changed its name in 2009.
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