Tomorrow, on March 8, they celebrate International Women’s Day, also called the feast of spring in most countries of the world. The origins of the feast date back to 1908. That year, on February 28, 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York demanding the right to vote and better working conditions.
Later in 1910, Clara Zetkin offered to make this date international. She announced the initiative at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. The idea was brought to life in 1911, so this year it’s the 110th anniversary of Women’s Day.
What does this feast mean nowadays and how do people in different countries celebrate it? First of all, it’s necessary to say that the feast is still widely celebrated in many countries, while not all of them preserved its original meaning. In many parts of the world, this date has become the feast of spring and beauty rather than a day devoted to the protection of women’s rights.
Russia, Poland, and Belarus
Nowadays this feast has nothing to for with the women’s movement in these countries. It’s the date when men (both grown-up and kids) show love and respect to their female relatives, colleagues, and friends. They normally buy them spring flowers (tulips or branches of mimosa), give small presents, cook and serve breakfast for the ladies in their family, spend time and have fun together. Men normally do all housework on this day by themselves.
It noteworthy to say that some people in Poland consider the feast to be a residue of socialism and choose not to celebrate it at all.
IWD 2021 themes
Each year, the UNO announces a theme for International Women’s Day. The theme of IWD 2020 was: “I am Generation Equality’: Realizing Women’s Rights” This year, the theme sounds as: “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.
Other dates devoted to women and the family in Russia
July 8 is the orthodox feast day of Sts. Peter and Fevronia. It’s celebrated in Russia and Belarus as the day of the family and traditional family values.
October 14 is the Protection of The Holy Mary in the Russian Orthodox Church. The Virgin Mary is considered to be a protector of the family, so many orthodox couples choose to marry on this day.