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How to Celebrate Russia’s ‘Men’s Day’ in Moscow

Feb. 23 is the one day a year when Russian men can receive a little extra credit and attention. Anton Kardashov / Moskva News Agency

It’s that time of the year again: Today, women all across Russia will be giving socks, shaving cream and more to the fathers, brothers and husbands in their lives.

For Russia, this is the one day a year when men can receive a little extra credit and attention: Defender of the Fatherland Day, or as it’s come to be known in common parlance, Men’s Day. Although the holiday was established to celebrate men and women who have served in the military, it has gradually evolved into the men’s equivalent of International Women’s Day.

The Moscow Times has compiled a list of the ways in which you can show your Muscovite man that he is truly your little soldier this Feb. 23: 

What a boy wants, what a boy needs

Unsure about what gift would make your man truly glow? The state-funded VTsIOM pollster surveyed Russian men to find out their true desires for Defender of the Fatherland Day. 

As it turns out, Russian men’s love doesn’t cost a thing — 27% of VTsIOM’s respondents said all they want to receive is attention from their loved ones. The next-most popular response was a car, with 17% saying they’d like the women in their life to buy them one. 

Fifteen percent of men said they would be happy to receive a vacation, 13% an apartment or house, and 10% a fishing rod — and 14% selflessly responded that they don’t want anything at all.

It’s only a flesh wound

Not quite a renaissance fair, not quite WWE: This Sunday, treat your man to an afternoon at the Wings of the Soviets sports complex for the WARRIOR 2020 tournament.


Fourteen armor-clad medieval knights from Russia, Poland, Britain and Moldova will face off in seven battles to determine who is the most valiant of all. There will also be exhibitions, games and musical performances for renaissance and fantasy lovers of all ages. 

Tickets are available here

Blow off some steam

If your man is more of a hands-on type, treat him to a day at the Labyrinth Shooting Club. With a variety of pistols, rifles, bows and arrows — and even throwing axes — to try out, he’s sure to feel like a real Defender of the Fatherland. If military-grade weapons seem a bit too extreme, paintball and laser tag are also available. 

Tickets and information available here.


Blackfish bonanza

If you’re looking for an activity that you can bring the whole family to, the Moskvarium at VDNKh happens to be hosting a series of “Killer Whale Training” events between Feb. 8 and March 9 — meaning that on Defender of the Fatherland Day you can treat your man to an afternoon of exciting whale acrobatics and interesting whale facts. 

Tickets can be reserved here


Fight for your right to party

In perhaps the best example of how diverse the celebrations of this holiday can become, the Museum of Soviet Slot Machines will be honoring Defenders of the Fatherland with a jazz concert.


With the slogan “Nothing matters except the atmosphere,” the concert boasts a medley of jazz styles, which visitors can enjoy while trying their hand at a variety of Soviet-era slot machines. What’s not to love?

Tickets can be reserved here.

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