The article is devoted to Johan Huizinga’s reception in the USSR and in Russia. Though his works were translated into Russian only at the end of the 20th century, his ideas had been known to Soviet scholars and discussed by them before the translations appeared – works by Sergey Averintsev, Leonid Batkin, Gayane Tavrizyan are referred to. Yuri Lotman, a famous philologist and semiotician, studied the West European impact on Russian cultural development. Huizinga’s context of his works is a complex system that includes references, allusions, common topics and characters, as well as some common sources. The most obvious correlations of themes and ideas that are discussed in the article are the play elements of culture and the everyday life phenomenon which are disclosed and studied by the two scholars, though from different methodological standpoints. Different correlations are also mentioned, but not studied in detail.