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How Valentine’s Day is Celebrated in Russia

Posted on February 10th, 2012

How Valentine's Day is Celebrated in Russia Love is in the air – Valentine’s Day is coming up! In Russia Valentine’s Day has only become popular after the collapse of USSR, so it is safe to say that the holiday is relatively new.

Nevertheless, it’s one of the most popular and favourite holidays in Russia and is currently celebrated by people of all ages: from children and adolescents to adults and seniors.

What Gifts are Popular in Russia on Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day in Russia is all about expressing your love and care to your significant other. This means that you can get as creative as you like when it comes to gifts. Any gift that conveys romantic feelings will be very well received. For example, a little memorable souvenir, such as a framed picture of you both having fun, or a poem written for your significant other will make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

Giving flowers is considered one of the most romantic gestures in Russia. Russian women love flowers! A bunch of fresh roses, tulips, orchids or any other flowers will certainly bring a smile to her face. If your lady has a sweet tooth she will most definitely like a box of chocolates.

These are only a few suggestions, but you get the idea. Let your love lead you!  :-)

How Do Russians Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

As you know, Valentine’s Day did not originate in Russia, this means that there are no specific Russian traditions associated with this holiday. The good news is that Russians love holidays, especially if they are accompanied with a fun and merry celebration. These are just a few suggestions to warm up your imagination:

• Enjoy a homemade candle lit dinner with a glass of good wine
• Cuddle up watching an old romantic movie (preferably in Russian – so you can practice your Russian language skills ;-) )
• Go for a romantic walk in the park, or a beach holding hands and sharing your childhood stories
• Reserve a table at a fancy restaurant and surprise your sweetheart
• Write romantic letters to each other

Just remember to let your imagination go and make your celebration as romantic and as memorable as you like. Russians love romance.

Valentine’s Day Was Banned in Belgorod

Unfortunately, not every city in Russia welcomes Valentine’s Day. Belgorod, a small city in western Russia banned Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago. Yes, that’s right, banned.

Grigory Bolotnov, a spokesman for the governor’s office, stated that celebrating Valentine’s Day is not a Russian tradition and it does not teach good moral values to Russian youth. Belgorod archbishop supported governor’s decision to cancel the holiday.

A local University also confirmed that they were banned from organizing parties, disco or any other celebrations of the Valentine’s Day.

Quoting Grigory Bolotnov:
“We are not talking about true love here, this is only about being in love. Society needs to think about the consequences. We could have started celebrating a day of Vodka or Beer just as well.”

So, if you are a fan ofValentine’s Day, don’t go to Belgorod…

How to Wish Happy Valentine’s Day in Russian

Now, let’s talk about the most important part of the Valentine’s Day – wishing Happy Valentine’s Day in Russian. Watch this video and learn how to say romantic phrases in Russian (you can also find these phrases below the video):

День Святого Валентина [DYEN’ svya-TO-va va-lyen-TEE-na] Valentine’s Day
С Днём Святого Валентина! [s DNYOM svya-TO-va va-lyen-TEE-na] Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ты будешь моим Валентином? [tee BOO-deesh ma-EEM va-lyen-TEE-nam] Will you be my Valentine? (when talking to a guy)

Ты будешь моей Валентиной? [tee BOO-deesh ma-YEI va-lyen-TEE-nay] Will you be my Valentine? (when talking to a girl)

Будь моим Валентином [BOOT’ ma-EEM va-lyen-TEE-nam] Be my Valentine! (when talking to a guy)

Будь моей Валентиной [BOOT’ ma-YEI va-lyen-TEE-nay] Be my Valentine! (when talking to a girl)

Будь моим [BOOT’ ma-EEM] Be mine (when talking to a guy)
Будь моей [BOOT’ ma-YEI] Be mine (when talking to a girl)
Валентинка [va-lyen-TEEN-ka] Valentine’s Day card

If you like to share your own Russian Valentine’s Day celebration, leave a comment below, I am always happy to hear from you. In my next article I will teach you romantic vocabulary in Russian. (Update: Learn Romantic Phrases in Russian Video Lesson was published here.) You can also read about Russian Terms of Endearment and about the diminutive nouns in Russian.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers! Sending you all my love!  :-)


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