International Women’s Day in Russia

Posted on March 7th, 2012

March 8th in Russian cultureMarch 8th is nearly here! Do you have big celebration plans yet? If not, it’s high time to think about how you would like to surprise your favorite women in your lives: your Moms, sisters, wives, daughters, girlfriends, co-workers. If you didn’t know yet, March 8th is the International Women’s Day and it is widely celebrated in Russian speaking countries.

History of the International Women’s Day

Interestingly, the holiday originated in New York in 1908 when women went on a strike to demand equal rights, voting rights, shorter hours and better pay. The first National Women’s Day was celebrated on 28th February 1909 following the declaration of Socialist Party of America. Since then and up until 1913, International Women’s Day was celebrated in the United States of America on the last Sunday of February.

During the second International Conference of Working Women in 1910, Clara Zetkin, the Leader of the “Women’s Office” for the Social Democratic Party suggested that the International Woman’s Day should be celebrated every year in every country.

In Russia International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1913 first time as a part of the peace movement on the eve of World War I. Soon, following the events of 1913, it was established that the International Women’s Day will be celebrated on March 8th.

How is International Women’s Day Celebrated in Russia Today?

Today, International Women’s Day (Международный Женский День) is celebrated on March 8th, is a public holiday and is one of the favorite holidays in Russia. Over the years, International Women’s Day in Russian culture has lost its political notion and has become a mixture of St. Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. This day is associated with the first days of spring, warmth, first sunny rays and the most wonderful emotions. On March 8th men and women express their love and care to the women in their lives.

When it comes to gifts, it’s more about the gesture. It is not a secret, that women like attention, and even a small thing like a card, flowers and a box of chocolates will put a smile on your lady’s face. And of course, it also depends on how well you know each other: whether you are coworkers, relatives, are dating and so on. Now, let’s skip to the fun stuff – a few words and expressions in Russian that you might need when celebrating the International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day in Russia Vocabulary

Very often on the cards dedicated to the International Women’s Day, you will see
8 (восьмое) Марта [vas’-MO-ye MAR-ta] March 8th

С 8 Марта (с восьмым) марта [s vas’-MIM MAR-ta] Happy March 8th
С Днём 8 (восьмого) марта [s DNYOM vas’-MO-va MAR-ta] Happy March 8th

Поздравляю с 8 Марта (с восьмым марта) [paz-drav-LYA-yoo s vas’-MIM MAR-ta] Wishing you Happy March 8th
Поздравляю с Международным Женским Днём! [paz-drav-LYA-yoo s meezh-doo-na-ROD-nim ZHENS-keem DNYOM] Wishing you a happy International Women’s Day!

If you are looking for an original way to wish a Happy March 8th, you could always find a poem about the International Women’s Day in Russian. Here are a few resources for you:

С Международным Женским Днём, дорогие женщины! Happy International Women’s Day, dear women!  :-)


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