Days-off all year round: Russian regions to get new public holidays

Months after St. Valentine’s Day was banned in some of Russia’s regions, people are now sighing with relief as they now have new opportunities to get extra days off.

A draft law introduced into parliament would allow different regions to establish holidays according to local traditions.

Areas with a majority Muslim population would especially welcome the move. Earlier, Russia’s Supreme Court ruled local holidays established by Bashkortostan’s authorities unlawful. The republic’s president says the decision violated the rights of more than two million Muslim residents.

In recent years, the country’s authorities have introduced a range of new, Russian, holidays. Among them are Christianization Day and Family Day, considered an alternative to St. Valentine’s Day.

Back in February 2011, the Belgorod region in central Russia banned St. Valentine’s Day. The region’s governor said the holiday promotes temporary affections rather than true love, and therefore contradicts Russia’s traditional culture and morals.

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