Should Russia make Vladimir Putin's birthday a national holiday?

Should Russia, following the example of other powers, make the birthday of the country's leader a national holiday?

Should Russia make Vladimir Putin's birthday a national holiday? Photo: kremlin.ru (Opening of the fifth season of Night Hockey League. 7 October 2015)

7 October was the 67th anniversary of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The birthday of the national leader is a kind of indicator that reflects not only the attitude of the country's citizens to the hero of the anniversary but also the level of political culture and the atmosphere of public life in the country. In a number of countries, in particular in the UK, North Korea, Japan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, the birthday of the leader of the country is a national holiday, and in some — a day off. Realnoe Vremya asked influential in public, political life and the media people whether we should make the birthday of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin a day off and a national holiday in the Russian Federation.

  • Vsevolod Chaplin

    Vsevolod Chaplin archpriest

    I don't think it is necessary. If to link the country, its life and destiny only with one person, it can turn into idolatry, in a kind if not deification of the governor, then in excessive attention to his person. Of course, the head of state elected by the people should be respected and, in general, remember that we have and will always have a monarchical consciousness. Power is perceived as centralized and personalized, and indeed, in Russia, the birthday of the tsar was a holiday at the time. But if once the monarchy is restored, then the service of the head of the state should be perceived as sacred, in which there is faith, complete self-denial, which is prepared from childhood, which does not fit with primitive pragmatism. If it is so — then we can think about the holiday.

  • Rushan Abbyasov

    Rushan Abbyasov First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia and the Muslim Spiritual Board of the Russian Federation

    I think it is incorrect to comment on this issue for me as a religious figure. As for my personal opinion — my mother also has her birthday on this day, therefore, of course, I would not be against a day off. But in general, Russia has a lot of days off without it, we are famous for it.

  • Lilia Galimova

    Lilia Galimova official representative of the Kazan Kremlin

    Mr Putin is a man who devotes himself entirely to work. He is almost constantly immersed in work. Therefore, I think he is unlikely to support such initiative. I don't think he'd be interested in the idea. Accordingly, I assume that for the general public it will not be the basis for the introduction of a holiday. There are enough days off in the country. But it should be noted that, for example, we in the Kremlin work six days a week, and sometimes on holidays — so the schedule of the president of Tatarstan is built.

  • Vitaly Milonov

    Vitaly Milonov deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

    The birthday of the head of the state is certainly a special day for the whole country. No matter how you feel about the president, his birthday is almost a semi-public holiday. Probably, it would be superfluous to introduce a holiday, but some festive status should be given to this day. Because the merits of this man to the country are outstanding, and by and large, in the last almost 20 years, the rise and success of our country, both internal and external, one way or another have been achieved under the leadership of the current president. Certainly, this day should be somehow highlighted. If the labour ministry supports it, I think nothing bad will happen.

  • Maksim Shevchenko

    Maksim Shevchenko journalist, politician, public figure

    I think Putin himself would object to this. I hope so. After all, he is a man who has retained his sanity. So in this situation let all, who has from him bonuses, and his close friends congratulate him on 7 October, and all the rest spend this day as usual.

  • Anatoly Vasserman

    Anatoly Vasserman journalist, publicist, TV presenter

    I don't think it makes sense in our circumstances. Even in the Imperial times, as I recall, there was no such custom. Well, these days, I think, the same Vladimir Vladimirovich, if you ask him, would answer that it is much better to spend something like a Day of Hard Work. Because we have enough holidays, half the country is full of people to celebrate, but we work on average much less than we should, given our difficult circumstances.

  • Yury Loza

    Yury Loza singer, blogger

    I don't think we should do that. First, he is not a king, not a monarch. He is an official chosen by the people. It is declared in our country that all officials are servants of the people. Therefore, I do not think that the servants of the people should be honoured as kings. If we change something in our constitution and give him some other status — then we can discuss it. As it is, he is an official of the highest level, but still he is a servant. He works for the people, not the people for him, it is written in the statutory documents of our state. There is no monarch in our country. In Britain, they sing “God Save The Queen” because all Britons live on land owned by the Queen, and for them she has a different status — she is the mother of the nation. Of course, they celebrate her birthday as a national holiday because the identity of the nation depends on whether the British crown and this monarchical system itself, the institution of power, is alive. But we have a slightly different situation. We have a democratic society, the president is elected. Nobody considers Turkmenistan and North Korea democratic societies. Therefore, if we declare that we have a democracy, we live by the laws established in democratic societies. In addition, leaders change from time to time for objective reasons. Remember the period of the late USSR — can you imagine that the birthday of each outgoing leader is a day off? And how many days off will we have over time? The changing birthday of the leader is already nonsense.

By Lyudmila Gubaeva, Inna Serova