D E F E N D E R O F T H E F A R T H E R L A N D D A Y
This special day was established in 1922 as “Day of Red Army” to commemorate the anniversary of establishing of Worker’s and Peasant’s Red Army in 1918. From 1917 until 1923 Russia was soaked in blood and devastated by the civil war that followed the socialist revolution of 1917. Bloody confrontation between the Red and the White armies came to an end in 1923 when Bolsheviks got most of former Russian Empire’s territories under their control. In 1946 the date was renamed Soviet Army and Navy day and kept this name until 1991, when it was given another name – “Defender of the Fatherland Day”. February 23 became a public holiday in 2002. Despite its patriotic meaning, first and foremost, February 23 is men’s day, almost an analogue of Woman’s day which is celebrated 2 weeks later. Men of all age and professions receive presents and greetings.
Soviet Army and Navy greetings cards were available in great abundance until the end of 1980s. These cards depicted Soviet military symbolic achievements and sent a strong patriotic message. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Defender of the Fatherland greeting cards became scarce and printed in a small number of copies.
I N T E R N A T I O N A L W O M A N’S D A Y
International Woman’s Day had a particular significance during the first two decades of the last century when the feminist movement was on the rise; however, as in many other countries its importance started to diminish with time. In the Russian Empire, the first celebration of Woman’s Day in 1913 was rather a tribute to the new Western trend. In 1921 International Woman’s day became a special day in a socialist Russia divided by the civil war; it was established to commemorate participation of female workers in the demonstrations which led to the fall of the monarchy in 1917. Final state recognition came to this date in 1966 when it eventually became a public holiday. Gradually, International Woman’s Day in USSR was losing the political and feminist meaning behind it, until it became a day of all women. Another name for March 8 is “Day of Spring and Beauty”. In present-day Russia, Woman’s day remains one of the most popular and broadly celebrated holidays of the year.
Nowadays, International Woman’s Day greeting cards are available in a great variety of shapes and designs, thought the distinguishing style of a Soviet greeting card became a thing of the past. One of the distinguishing features of Soviet cards was appealing to a woman as a part of society; they all carried some uniting message in them. Often, the main theme of a card was dedicated to moments of spring with melting snow, tulips and mimosas. Abstract artworks of Soviet International Woman’s Day greeting cards made them a universal gift to women of all age and occupation. Modern Russian cards appeal to a woman privately, almost intimately, depicting her personal belongings such as bags, mirrors or clothes, to reflect her lifestyle. Modern greeting cards depict woman as a glamorous femme fatale, proud of her femininity.
This section presents cards printed between 1952 and 2011, which reflect more than 60 years of celebration.