Putin Creates a New Holiday: Polar Explorer Day

The drifting ice station Severny Polyus-1.

President Vladimir Putin has introduced a new professional holiday, Polar Explorer Day, on May 21 to celebrate the establishment of the world's first drifting ice station in the North Pole in 1937, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

The Severny Polyus-1 research station was opened on a drifting ice floe and was used by four explorers who drifted for nine months from the North Pole toward southern Greenland, conducting numerous scientific observations.

The proposal to establish Polar Explorer Day in the country was made by the vice president of the Polar Explorer Association in St. Petersburg, Nikolai Kornilov, during Putin's live televised call-in show in April, RBC reported.

May 21 has long been celebrated in parts of northern Russia as a holiday day, the report said.

This is not the first time such a proposal has been made to the president. In December, the Kremlin's envoy for Arctic and Antarctic issues, Artur Chilingarov, also suggested this initiative to Putin, RIA Novosti reported.

Every year, Russia usually has nine official holidays with days off work, 11 professional holidays and  10 folk festivals, which are not public holidays.

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