Defender of the Fatherland Day is a Belarusian holiday on February 23 and focuses on the achievements of military forces and veterans.
What do people do?
Many Belarusians observe February 23 as men’s day because military service is obligatory for most men in Belarus. Women often give presents and postcards to their male relatives, including those who never served in the military. On this day many women also congratulate their male colleagues and schoolboys may receive small presents from their female classmates.
Belarusian authorities may organize local parades to honor the military and veterans on this day. It is becoming more common for women who serve in the military to be honored on this day, and this challenges the traditionally masculine aspect of the holiday.
Common symbols of Defender of the Fatherland Day are a soldier and the Belarusian flag. These symbols often appear on postcards and congratulatory banners in Belarusian cities on this day.