Tatiana Day is a day that is celebrated in Russia, former satellites of the Russian Empire, Ukraine, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. It goes by the name Tatiana Day, Tatyana’s Day, or Student’s Day. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, it’s observed as the Feast of St. Tatiana. This holiday is observed on January 25th in the Gregorian calendar, which is January 12th on the Julian calendar.
The History Of Tatiana Day
St. Tatiana was a Christian martyr that lived in the 3rd century during the reign of Roman Emperor Severus Alexander. She was born in 226 and according to legend, was the daughter of a Roman civil servant who was secretly a practicing Christian. According to this story, he raised his daughter as a Christian and she would eventually become a deaconess in the church.
One day, she was captured by the Roman jurist Ulpian and he attempted to force her to make a sacrifice to Apollo. She resisted and according to the story, she prayed and caused an earthquake the destroyed part of Apollo’s temple and completely destroyed this god’s statue.
For her insolence, she was blinded and then beat for two days. After two days, she was taken to a Roman circus and thrown into a pit with a lion. The lion reportedly laid at her feet and chose not to devour her. Eventually, Roman authorities issued a death sentence for her and after a period of her being tortured, she was beheaded with a sword on January 12 (in the Julian calendar). She would then be venerated as a saint and her feast day was established on the day of her death.
On January 12, 1755, in the Julian calendar (January 23, 1755, in the Gregorian), Russian Empress Elizabeth Petrovna signed a decree that established the first Russian university. This university was built in Moscow and put under the care of Ivan Shuvalov—who became the first Russian Minister of Education. 36-years later, in 1791, the Church of Saint Tatiana was built on the campus of the university. Afterward, the Russian Orthodox Church declared St. Tatiana the patron saint of students. This is why this holiday is also known as Student’s Day.
Observing Tatiana Day
Tatiana Day is an observance in most countries in which it’s celebrated, so it’s not a public holiday. This means that schools, businesses, and governmental agencies remain open on this day. This holiday is observed by some by religious ceremonies. Students often observe this day with dinners, games, or other social activities.