Spring festivals in Russia are celebrated most widely in the larger cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg. Russian spring festivals celebrate national holidays and Russian culture.
International Women's Day - March 8
In lieu of Mother's Day, Russians everywhere celebrate International Women's Day. This day is marked by the giving of presents—like flowers or candy—to special women, especially mothers, grandmothers, and wives.
Cosmonautics Day - April 12
Russia is extremely proud of its history of space exploration. Cosmonautics Day in April celebrates Yuri Gagarin's space flight in 1961. Like Russia's celebration of Sputnik's 50th Anniversary, Cosmonautics Day is marked with special ceremonies and events.
Easter Sunday - March/April
Russia celebrates Easter according to the Orthodox calendar. On this day, Russians eat food served every Easter Sunday, particularly Easter paska, a holiday cake. Religious individuals will also attend mass, and family members will make time to visit with one another.
St. Petersburg White Nights Festival - Starts in May
White Nights in St. Petersburg occur due to the city's extreme northern location. During this time, the sun doesn't completely set; instead, it stays ever-visible and casts a pale light on St. Petersburg when it would normally be dark. The Mariinsky Theater enjoys one of its best performance seasons during St. Petersburg's White Nights Festival.
Victory Day - May 9
Visit Red Square in Moscow on Victory Day to witness parades and ceremonies celebrating Russia's WWII defeat of Germany. Russians often refer to WWII as the "Great Patriotic War." Its significance to Russian pride is visible during the Victory Day celebrations, as well as countless war memorials on display in major Russian cities.
St. Petersburg City Day - May 27
St. Petersburg's "City Day" is just what its title implies. This day is a celebration of the city's history, culture, and significance. St. Petersburgian officials plan parades, host ceremonies, and organize exhibitions to recognize the city of St. Petersburg.