Chapel of St. Tatiana in Vladivostok, Russia

Tatiana Day

Tatiana Day is a day celebrated in Russia, former satellites of the Russian Empire, Ukraine, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is known as Tatiana Day, Tatyana’s Day, or Student’s Day. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is observed as the Feast of St. Tatiana. This holiday is observed on January 25th in the Gregorian calendar, which corresponds to January 12th in the Julian calendar.

The History of Tatiana Day

St. Tatiana was a Christian martyr who 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 the story, he raised his daughter as a Christian, and she eventually became a deaconess in the church.

One day, she was captured by the Roman jurist Ulpian, who attempted to force her to make a sacrifice to Apollo. She resisted and, according to the story, prayed and caused an earthquake that destroyed part of Apollo’s temple and completely demolished the god’s statue.

For her defiance, she was blinded and then beaten for two days. After two days, she was taken to a Roman circus and thrown into a pit with a lion. The lion reportedly lay at her feet and chose not to devour her. Eventually, Roman authorities issued a death sentence for her, and after a period of torture, she was beheaded with a sword on January 12 (in the Julian calendar). She was then 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 placed under the care of Ivan Shuvalov—who became the first Russian Minister of Education. Thirty-six years later, in 1791, the Church of Saint Tatiana was built on the campus of the university. Subsequently, the Russian Orthodox Church declared St. Tatiana the patron saint of students. This is why the holiday is also known as Student’s Day.

Observing Tatiana Day

Tatiana Day is an observance in most countries where it is celebrated, so it is not a public holiday. This means that schools, businesses, and government agencies remain open on this day. Some observe this holiday with religious ceremonies. Students often mark this day with dinners, games, or other social activities.

Where is it celebrated?
Ukraine (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
January 25 Thursday
Next year (2025)
January 25 Saturday
Last year (2023)
January 25 Wednesday