Until 1918, the Julian calendar was used in Russia, which had 13 difference with the now-accepted Gregorian calendar. This means that some festivities, like Christmas and the New Year, are celebrated on multiple dates!
See a list of the main public holidays celebrated in Saint Petersburg below:
- New Year's Day & Holiday (Novy god): 1st January, but 2nd to 5th January are public holidays too.
- Orthodox Christmas (Rozhdestvo Khristovo): 7th January (usually includes 6th to 8th January too).
- Defender of the Fatherland Day (Den zashchitnika Otechestva): 23rd February, dedicated to veterans and members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
- International Women's Day: 8th March.
- International Workers' Day: 1st May.
- Victory Day (Den Pobedy): 9th May, celebrating the victory over Nazi Germany. Military parades are held in Palace Square and Senate Square.
- Russia Day (Den Rossii): 12th June, celebration of Russian parliament formally declaring sovereignty from the Soviet Union in 1990.
- Unity Day (Den narodnogo edinstva): 4th November, commemorating the popular uprising against Polish invaders in 1612.
Other days which are not public holidays but may be celebrated while you're in St Petersburg include:
- October Revolution Day: 7th November, reflecting the 13-day calendar difference from 25th October 1917, when it took place.
- (Western) Christmas Day: 25th December.