What Do People Do?
Russia Day is an occasion for many Russians to demonstrate national pride. Some people celebrate Russia's economic and social achievements and pay tribute to famous Russians on June 12. People may attend concerts and fireworks that take place in many cities throughout the country. Prominent Russian writers, scientists and humanitarian workers receive a National Award from the Russian president on this day.
Russia Day is a national holiday in the Russian Federation. Most banks, public offices and schools are closed on June 12. If the day falls on a weekend, the public holiday shifts to the following Monday. Public transport schedules may vary depending on events taking place in each city on June 12.
On June 12, 1990 Soviet leaders signed a declaration of Russiaâs state sovereignty. That document symbolized the beginning of democratic reforms in Russia. It also marked one of the first steps to the official dissolution of the Soviet Union. June 12 became a public holiday in 1994, but many people either did not understand its meaning or refused to celebrate it.
To promote June 12 as a patriotic holiday, Russia's first president Boris Yeltsin suggested renaming it to Russia Day in 1997 (the holiday's original name was the Day of Signing the Declaration of State Sovereignty). The renaming took place in 2002 when the Russian Parliament adopted a new version of Russia's Labor Code.
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