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Russian Orthodox Christmas

Celebrated according to the Julian calendar, the Russian Orthodox Christmas falls on 7 January and is a huge celebration for Orthodox Christians across Russia. Events begin on the eve of the holiday with a special televised speech by the president. Many attend Christmas religious services which are held in churches throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Midnight Mass service on Christmas Eve in the restored Christ the Saviour Cathedral near the Kremlin is one of the main services.

Date: 07 January 2020 - 07 January 2020
Venue: Various locations around Moscow.


Maslenitsa (Blini Day)

Maslenitsa is a blend of pagan beliefs and Christian traditions and is the Russian equivalent of Mardi Gras - the last period for feasting before the fasting of the traditional Lent season. Blini are a type of Russian pastry or doughnut which is frequently eaten smothered in jam, honey or other sweet foodstuffs. Maslenitsa lasts for up to one week ending on Shrove Tuesday or 'Blini Day'. Many Muscovites visit the Blini Village in Red Square which is a great place to soak up the unique flavour of this popular cultural and religious celebration.

Date: 24 February 2020 - 01 March 2020
Venue: Various locations around Moscow.

Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) is an internationally recognised celebration of women and their social, economic and political achievements. In Russia, the demonstrations that marked International Women's Day created a sea of change that kick-started the Russian Revolution of 1917. To commemorate the day's historic importance it is now a public holiday in Russia. However, rather than staging political protests the day has a more sentimental slant, with husbands and sons showing their love for the ladies in their lives.

Date: 08 March 2020 - 08 March 2020
Venue: Throughout Russia.


Paskha (Orthodox Easter)

The main holiday of the Russian Orthodox Church, when Russians end 40 days of fasting with midnight church services and a feast of special cakes.

Date: 19 April 2020 - 19 April 2020
Venue: Churches across Moscow.

Moscow International Film Festival

Muscovites celebrate more than 100 years of Russian cinema with screenings of new and classic films at theatres all over Moscow.

Date: 22 April 2020 - 29 April 2020
Venue: Cinemas across Moscow.

Victory Day

Each year on 9 May Russia celebrates Victory Day which commemorates the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The German army signed the surrender terms on 8 May 1945 with peace officially taking effect the following day on 9 May. But peace did not come without huge loss of life on both sides and the day is also a way of remembering the many people that lost their lives during the conflict. Known as VE Day in most of Europe, Victory Day is celebrated in a grand way in Moscow with lavish ceremonies and a military parade in Red Square. The ceremony is usually attended by several prominent world leaders and the occasion closes with a fireworks display.

Date: 09 May 2020 - 09 May 2020
Venue: Red Square.


White Nights Festival

This festival is a must for ballet, opera and classical music amateurs. It takes its inspiration from the short summer season when the sun never sets, and offers a world-class program of concerts.

Date: 22 May 2020 - 21 July 2020
Venue: Throughout the city.

Varies by venue and event.

Russian Independence Day

Russia declared its sovereignty on 12 June 1990 as a way of distancing itself from the crumbling Soviet Union. The following year when the Soviet Union was formerly broken up, Boris Yeltsin came to power and declared 12 June Russian Independence Day and a national holiday. But it was not until over a decade later in 2003 under the presidency of Vladimir Putin that the day became a grand parade. Now each year on 12 June there is a big celebration and parade at Moscow's Red Square.

Date: 12 June 2020 - 12 June 2020
Venue: Red Square.


Moscow City Day (Den' Goroda)

Held over the first weekend in September, Moscow celebrates the birth of the Russian capital with a series of parades and entertainment events. The celebrations begin on the Saturday with a procession of floats. Other celebratory events taking place over the weekend include fun fairs, street entertainers, sports contests and live music; and there are plenty of food and drink stalls lining the streets. The city parks are also popular places to celebrate the occasion with many families choosing to enjoy a picnic in one of the beautifully maintained parks. Moscow's City Day was introduced by the former Russian president Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007) in 1986 when he was the Secretary of the Moscow City Committee.

Date: 01 September 2020 - 30 September 2020
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Various locations around Moscow.


Kremlin Cup

Russia's answer to Wimbledon captures the city's attention for nine days in October.

Date: 17 October 2020 - 25 October 2020
Venue: Olympic Stadium.

Ranges from Rb100 to Rb35,000 depending on fixture and ticket type.

National Unity Day

Communists come out of the woodwork to parade and flag-wave to commemorate the October Revolution.

Date: 04 November 2020 - 04 November 2020
Venue: Throughout the city.


Russian Winter Festival

Muscovites get into the Russian winter spirit with all sorts of special events and rides in troikas (sleighs drawn by three horses). Ice sculpture competitions, and even ice chess, also take place in the city.

Date: 01 December 2020 - 31 January 2021
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: Various, including the Red Square

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Featured Hotels


Izmailovo (Gamma-Delta)

Constructed to accommodate visitors to the 1980 Olympics, the concrete towers of the Izmailovo boast a staggering 8,000 rooms. Institutional in atmosphere, and located far out in the northern suburbs, the hotel is handy for the enormous Izmaylovo Market and has decent city centre links. There are several onsite restaurants and in-room Wi-Fi is available too.

Peking Hotel

Built in 1956 as a little sister to Stalin's Seven Sister skyscrapers, and intended as post-war headquarters for the secret police, Moscow's Peking Hotel is a heritage hotel with a small 'h', in a good location just northwest of the centre. Although slightly old-fashioned, its 130 rooms are comfortable enough, with satellite TV and en-suite bathrooms.

Warsaw Hotel

Although its location may not be one of Moscow's most picturesque, the Warsaw Hotel is convenient for Gorky Park. Considering the quality of the competition, this is one of the best cheap options in the city, with clean and comfortable rooms, albeit in a rather dated style. Wi-Fi is complimentary and the Oktyabrskaya Metro station is right next door.

Golden Apple

A boutique hotel on a refreshingly human scale, the Golden Apple offers imaginative styling and a personal touch that many 5-star hotels lack. Behind the baroque facade, its minimalist rooms are cosy, and there's an onsite restaurant and an open-plan bar too. Staff speak excellent English and there's Wi-Fi access, a gym and a sauna.

Historical Hotel Sovietsky

In the 1950s, Joseph Stalin decreed that the famous Yar restaurant should be upgraded to a hotel and the Historical Hotel Sovietsky was born. It quickly became a showcase for the image of sophistication that the Soviet government wished to present to the world, and its 107 rooms still conjures up the nostalgia of this period in history.

Hotel Danilovsky

It's hard to imagine a more atmospheric place to stay than the 12-century precincts of the historic Danilovsky Monastery. Set amidst chapels and gardens, the hotel is a modern construction, but the rooms are comfortable and all have a view of the stately monastery buildings. There's a sauna and bar onsite too.