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Holiday sociology for Women's Day: March 8 and February 23 in assessments of Belarusians

A good tradition of our country are the holidays that we celebrate each year on February 23 and March 8 – the Fatherland Defenders the Armed Forces Day, and Women's Day. Their celebration gives us the opportunity just for an instant to escape the everyday bustle and everyday work, to say heartfelt words to each other, to wish happiness and joy in life, to feel the support of the opposite sex.

In severe February, when people are tired of the cold and waiting for spring, our dear and beloved women give gifts and kind words to men, swirl like snowflakes, melting the ice of winter and promising the imminent arrival of warmth and sunlight, which is about to pour into the windows of our cozy apartments.

And in March, men puzzle over how to congratulate the firer sex. Sometimes they get discouraged, because they can hardly organize a holiday better than women, the housewives of our homes and care-takers. But even if success, the stronger sex will still gallantly and tactfully remain silent… But sadness slips away quickly. After all, there are flowers that are so popular with charming, mysterious and not always predictable ladies. And we give flowers, adding other gifts and a little love.

How do ladies and gentlemen feel about February 23 and March 8? Opinion polls will tell you this. One of them was held in October-November 2020 by the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. The question sounded like this: "What public holidays of Belarus, folk holidays, other holidays and memorable days are the most significant for you?" Both holidays were selected for the top ten, although did not take the first places. In the top were New Year (69 %), Victory Day (66%) and Orthodox Easter (59%). Therefore, the worldview of Belarusians harmoniously reconciles the secular, heroic and religious. But we have missed the point. Let's go back to the holidays of men and women.

March 8 and February 23 occupy the sixth and eighth positions in the hierarchy of holiday priorities. The first one was called significant by 33% of the surveyed Belarusians, the second – by 20 %.

The differences in percepting these holidays by men and women are indicative. Although both sexes celebrate these dates together by exchanging gifts and good mood, it has little effect on male and female solidarity. How else to explain such a picture? February 23 was considered significant by 30% of men and only by 12% of women. But March 8 was much more significant for the best half than for the stronger sex (Fig. 1). In other words, each gender jealously protects its holiday.

Праздничная социология ко Дню женщин: 8 марта и 23 февраля в оценках белорусов

And the villagers remember March 8 less often than the urbans: 28% vs. 35%. Maybe this is evidence of the traditional way of rural life, where the status of men is higher? Older people remember the holidays to a lesser extent (Fig. 2). And this can also be a matter for discussion. On the eve of public holidays, we leave sociology and move on to congratulations.

Праздничная социология ко Дню женщин: 8 марта и 23 февраля в оценках белорусов

So, Belarus has two holidays where men and women meet: February 23 and March 8. Let these meetings be joyful and happy. On the eve of Women's Day, we wish the lovely and beautiful ladies all the best, happiness and love, peace and good life. Happy holiday to you, dear women!