Ukrainian women get their own bank holiday on the 8th of March, when men are supposed to buy them flowers and, for perhaps the only day of the year, do the cooking. (Sales of beans and sliced bread must go through the roof in the first week of March.) In return, February 23rd is Men’s Day, an unofficial holiday that used to honour all those who’d served in the Soviet Army - which thanks to conscription meant pretty much everyone.
In practice, this results in supermarket shelves fit to burst with alcohol, some of which even finds its way into the hands – and down the throats – of foreign English teachers. My intermediate class presented me with a bottle of the local cognac, to be “drunk together with coffee so you feel at home in Odessa”.
The rest of my groups got lots of hints about my birthday, which is on March the 31st (and just so you know, I do accept gifts of booze by international post).