Guide to vacations and holidays in Russia.
Vacations in Russia
By the law, all full-time employees (expats included) in Russia get minimum of 28 (twenty eight) calendar days of paid vacation each year of employment. An employer cannot give less of vacation. Some employees get extra days of paid vacation, which has to be reflected in their job contract.
By the law, vacation days have to be split in two parts. One part has to be consecutive 14 days. Remaining portion of paid vacation can be used all at ones or split in any number of days and used up throughout the year.
For each calendar year HR people make internal document called “schedule of vacations”. Each employee has to plan and schedule their vacation for upcoming year. In most Russian companies schedule of vacations is just a formality and no one follows their vacation plan. It is possible to change days of vacation (from those indicated in the schedule of vacations), but for that an employee has to obtain their supervisors consent and write an application.
On top of minimum 28 days of vacation Russian employees get 17 (seventeen) days of public holidays (as of 2018), also paid for. Number of holiday days change slightly each year as government adjusts them. Adjustments are for making holiday days more “compact” and organized. All the national holidays, working and non-working days are fixed by the government before calendar year starts in an official document called “labour calendar”.
To see up to date calendar of public holidays, copy-paste following phrase into a search engine of your choice: производственный календарь 2018. You will get year’s calendar with working and non-working days indicated. This calendar has status of a law and a must to follow for businesses and government organizations of all kinds. This means everything will be closed on public holidays.
In addition to days off, working hours must be reduced by one hour when working day precedes a public holiday.
Public holidays in Russia
January 1st through January 10th — New Year. The most celebrated holiday in Russia. There is January 7th — Orthodox Christmas, a standalone public holiday. Christmas is not really celebrated (it’s a purely religious holiday in Russia) and it always hides somewhere in between New Year holidays. Exact days of this public holiday change every year, slightly.
February 23rd — Defender of the Fatherland Day. Former soviet army day is widely celebrated as men’s day in Russia.
March 8th — Women’s day. I wrote separate article about this holiday.
May 1st and May 2nd — Labour day. Soviet holiday, migrated into new Russian history. On a private level this holiday is a literal celebration of hard labour as many people start dacha season in these two days. They say these two days are used for planting potatoes on dachas. More about dacha here.
May 9th — Victory Day. This is the day when World War Two officially ended. One of THE most significant holidays in Russia.
June 12th — Day of Russia. Signifies end of ussr history and Russia becoming independent country.
November 4th — National Unity Day. Many people view this holiday as a substitute for the communist revolution day (in ussr observed on November 7th). This holiday however is a celebration of harmonious co-existence of people of different cultures, ethnical backgrounds, religions that never divide, but rather unite all people of Russia, making the country stronger.