January 25 is Tatiana’s day in Russia. This religious holiday is celebrated to honor Saint Tatiana, a Christian martyr of the 3rd century.
Empress Elizabeth endorsed a petition by Ivan Shuvalov, who was the Minister of Education, to establish Moscow University on January 25, 1755. Due to the date of establishment of the university was Tatiana’s day, a church of Saint Tatiana was built on the territory of campus.
Saint Tatiana was declared by the Russian Orthodox Church as the patron saint of all students, that is why Tatiana’s day is regarded as Students' day in Russia.
In the beginning Tatiana’s day was celebrated only in Moscow. The celebration consisted of two parts: an official ceremony, held in the university, and folk festival. Later the celebration of Tatiana’s day spread to other universities that is why the holiday is observed by all students.
Tatiana’s day became an official holiday in 2005, when the holiday was proclaimed by the Presidential Decree and received the name of Russian Students' Day.
Tatiana’s Day has also always coincided with the end of winter finals, so all students could finally relax and start the winter break.