International Women’s day is celebrated annually on 8th March in many countries around the world. Historically it emerged as a day of working women’s solidarity in vindication of equal rights and emancipation.
As a part of international peace movement Russian women first celebrated International Women’s day on the first Sunday of February in 1913.
In Russia the February of 1917 became the important event in the history of this holiday. The day of 23rd February (new style calendar – 8th March) 1917 is marked by revolutionary outbreak that resulted in February revolution. The Petrograd Bolsheviks made use of the Women’s day celebration to start meetings against war, high prices and the tight working conditions for women. Those meeting led to strikes and revolutionary demonstrations. That day more than 128 thousand workers were on strike and columns of demonstrators from outskirts of the city where they worked went to the city centre. They cut their way to Nevsky Avenue and went directly to City Duma to claim rights for women and bread.
During the Soviet time in 1921 at the 2nd communist female conference they decided to celebrate 8th March annually in memory of women’s participation in demonstration that led to February revolution and as the result the Russian Monarchy fell.
After the end of the Soviet time 8th March remain the state holiday of Russia. This day is a day off in Russian. According to a long-held tradition men present flowers to women. The original meaning of this holiday is forgotten. And now it is celebrated as a Women’s day.0