Tuesday, March 08, 2005

international womens day

today, march 8th, is international womens day, likely much to your surprise. although the holiday has its roots in america at the turn of the century, it really only gained international momentum after a few of lenin's girlfriends convinced him to make it a national soviet holiday. in as much as those dastardly commies (who, by the way, extended full suffrage to women two years before the united states and most of western europe at the federal level) beat us to making it an official holiday, enthusiasm dropped off in the america.

i don't really know how widely it's celebrated in the rest of the world, but i get the sense that it's more an ex-soviet holiday that an international holiday, if not in formal status, in actuality. this year it fell on a tuesday, which by old russian tradition, mandated making saturday a (nominally) official working day and giving everyone sunday, monday and tuesday off. another old russian tradition mandates not going to work on nominally official working saturdays, so most people here, at least in the provinces (the глубина, as yaroslavl was described to me recently) had a nice four-day weekend.

this blog's recurring theme seems to be that russians are never really short on holidays, and always looking for new ones. they have even started to pick up st. valentines day over the past few years, despite the pissing fury of the russian orthodox church. i wouldn't be surprised to see fireworks in yaroslavl on july 4th either.