March 8 and its analogues: when and how women are congratulated in popular tourist countries

March 8 in its modern sense is a unique Russian holiday : a day on which all women are congratulated, regardless of their social role. In most foreign countries popular with Russians, everything is completely different. Here are seven examples of “gender” holidays from Turkey to China.


March 8 is celebrated here only in hotels in resorts where there are many tourists from Russia, in the “Russian” quarters of Antalya, in mixed families. For most of the country and most Turkish citizens themselves, this is the most common working day.

An analogue of March 8 in Turkey can be considered “Mother's Day”, which is celebrated according to the international calendar, on the second Sunday of May (in 2023 it falls on May 14). On this day, not all women are congratulated, but mothers – those who have children. This, by the way, is also not a day off, but on this date it is customary to give gifts to mothers (and wives): flowers or gifts that women asked for in advance.

There is also Father's Day in Turkey, which is also celebrated according to the international calendar on the third Sunday of June (in 2023 – June 18). As the Turks themselves note, both holidays are largely “commercial”, supported by special assortments in stores, sales, promotions, etc.


Here, too, there is no March 8 as a holiday of “all women” (but it can be celebrated in hotels in Egypt for tourists). Instead, there is “Mother's Day”, which is celebrated March 21 (as in many other Arab countries).

Despite the fact that this is not a day off, the Egyptians like to gather in the evening with the whole family (and they are usually large, from several generations), they congratulate their mothers and grandmothers. Gifts – mostly goodies, clothes, something else “tangible” (not flowers). Of course, there is Father's Day in Egypt, but its date is not floating, it is celebrated on June 21 of each year.


March 8 is not present among the civil holidays of the UAE. The closest analogy to the “Soviet” March 8 is the “Emirati Women’s Day”, August 28, which began to be celebrated only in 2015. But this is rather an official holiday, on this day, for example, women who serve in the army and police, state institutions are especially congratulated.

But the holiday on August 28 is still new and not at all “folk”. More popular is the same “Mother's Day”, which is celebrated March 21(There is, accordingly, “Father's Day” – just like in Egypt, celebrated on June 21). These holidays are celebrated in the family circle, on this day children give gifts to moms or dads, depending on the holiday. Small ones are something handmade, adults who have a family can donate money.


In Thailand, all gender holidays (like many others) are tied to the royal family . For example, there is “Thai Women's Day”, it is celebrated on August 1. This “official” holiday was established in 2003 in honor of Queen Sirikit, wife of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). On this day, various solemn and official events are held. In 2023, it coincides with Asahina Bucha (Founding Day of Buddhism), widely celebrated in the country.

Similarly, the local “Mother's Day” is celebrated on August 12, is a day off and coincides with the Day birth of Queen Sirikit, wife of the late King Rama IX. It is customary for Thais to dress in blue on Mother's Day and the Queen's birthday – the “royal color”, blue flags are hung on the streets.

You probably already guessed when Father's Day is celebrated in Thailand? That's right, it coincides with the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej Rama IX of Thailand. This December 5 is the national holiday of the whole kingdom.


Here, March 8 is celebrated at the state level. But it's not a holiday. It is called “International Day of Working Women”. However, because of the name “fungyu” (a married woman, has a shade of “tired, full of worries”), the March 8 holiday was always associated with a married working woman, and the women themselves were not very willing to celebrate it even in Mao's time.

Therefore, in “market” China, they found a way out: in the afternoon, if I may say so, “female beauty” was made the next day March 7: on this day, gifts are given to all women, including young and unmarried. And the local retailers are promoting this holiday as “Goddess Day”, the overtones are more sexual.

You can hear that “Mother's Day” and “Father's Day” in China are celebrated according to the international calendar (the second Sunday of May and the third Sunday of June), but on these dates, at best, children make crafts for their parents in kindergartens and schools.

But there are also quite popular “parental” holidays – for example, on August 8, the local “Father's Day” is celebrated in China (the symbol is two eights, the Chinese culture of holidays is deeply numerological). On this day, it is considered good form for adult children to invite their father to a delicious dinner with a drink (and, of course, pay for it).


In India, March 8 is a holiday of Europeanized women, widely it is not marked. It's the local “official” women's day, February 13 is the birthday of Sarojini Naidu, Indian poetess, follower of Mahatma Gandhi and Indian independence fighter. She was also the first female governor of India. But this is also not a national, but an official holiday.

The real folk “women's holiday” in India is the holiday (festival) Teej. It is transitional, celebrated this year September 18, at the height of the monsoon season. The holiday is dedicated to the reunion of the god Shiva with his wife, the goddess Parvati. It is believed that having received the blessing of Parvati on this day, the girl will receive long-term happiness in marriage in the future. Women put on beautiful clothes and jewelry, and sing religious songs on a swing suspended from trees.


Here is March 8 celebrating (after all, the state officially called the Socialist Republic of Vietnam). But its background is purely national: this holiday is “absorbed” here by the semi-mythological history of the Chyng sisters (40s of the 1st century BC), who fought for independence from the Han Empire, that is, it is also the day of women fighters for independence . Their holiday coincided with the socialist March 8, so it happened.

Nevertheless, in Vietnam, March 8 is most similar to the traditional Russian Women's Day: this is the day of attention to women from men, these are postcards and bouquets of flowers for all women. And for unmarried couples in love, this is also a “substitute” for February 14 – as a rule, on this day, young people invite their girlfriends to a romantic dinner.

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