Day of Russian Students: history and traditions of the holiday

In January we are celebrating the Day of Russian Students, but this holiday is more often called the Day of Tatiana.

Tatiana Day is probably the most famous name celebration day in Russia and one of the most popular religious holidays. This is due to the fact that the 25th of January is not only the day to congratulate all Tatyana, but also the Day of Students in Russia. The double holiday was created simply by coincidence: it was on the day of St. Tatiana of Rome, January 25, 1755, that Empress Elizabeth Petrovna signed the decree "On the Establishment of Moscow University". Elizabeth, having supported the initiative of Count Ivan Shuvalov and Mikhail Lomonosov, signed the decree on the foundation of the University on the name day of Count Shuvalov mother, Tatiana.

In 1791, the church in the Moscow University was also consecrated in the name of Saint Martyr Tatiana. Since then, Saint Tatiana has been considered the patroness of students and teachers.

Primarily, this holiday was celebrated only in Moscow and was marked very lavishly. According to eyewitnesses, the annual celebration of Tatiana's Day was a gorgeous event for Moscow. It consisted of two parts: a short official ceremony in the building of the Moscow University and a noisy folk festivity in which the entire capital took part.

After the October Revolution, Tatiana Day was rarely remembered. Students' Day continued to be celebrated, but not as lavishly as before. On January 25, 2005, the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 76 of 25 January 2005, the day of the 250th anniversary of Moscow State University, the "professional" holiday of Russian students was approved. The celebration of the "professional" day of students had its traditions and rituals -- solemn events with speeches and awards were organized. Despite the fact that the history of the holiday is rooted in the distant past, the traditions have been preserved to the present day. More than a hundred years ago students used to organize large celebrations, similarly, in the 21st century they prefer to celebrate their holiday loudly and cheerfully. Anton Chekhov wrote in one of his works that during the holiday in 1885, students in the capital "drank everything except the Moscow River, and that's because it was frozen".

On the Day of Students, those whom it concerns, sing the hymn "Gaudeamus" or "Gaudeamus igitur”. This song is centuries old. It is believed that the song, which praised youth and life, was written by travelling students. It appeared in the 13th or 14th century, either at the University of Heidelberg* or the University of Paris.

Traditionally, the centre of church celebrations on the Day of Russian Students, which is also the day of commemoration of the patron saint of the University - the martyr Tatiana, was the church of this saint at Lomonosov Moscow State University on Mokhovaya Street.

In our days, many institutions have promotions dedicated to students' holiday, such as discounts for all students or only for those with the highest grades. Some cultural institutions on this day offer free admission to festive events for all Tatiana.

Many people remember their student years as one of the happiest periods of their lives. The museum Collection team congratulates students, professors and all Russians on the bright winter holiday of students and, of course, all beautiful Tatyana on her name day. We wish that dreams come true, life is bright and full of wonderful events and people.

On the Day of Russian Students we offer you to listen to the life-affirming song about Moscow students "We will pass the final exam", written by composer Eduard Kolmanovsky to lyrics by Zoya Petrova. The song was performed by Irina Brzhevskaya and Oleg Anofriyev, accompanied by instrumental ensemble.

On the cover: Photo album. Ovchinnikov factory. Russia, Moscow. 1879
The top cover of the album is decorated with overlaid rectangular gilded silver plate in the center of an oval medallion. The Moscow University buiding in Mokhovaya is engraved on it.


* Heidelberg University, officially the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg is a public research university in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Founded in 1386 on instruction of Pope Urban VI, Heidelberg is Germany's oldest university and one of the world's oldest surviving universities