Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Unity Day: November 4

With November just around the corner, I thought Unity Day would be a fitting blog post. Unity Day is a national holiday observed in Russia.  Unity Day commemorates an uprising that freed Moscow from Polish-Lithuanian occupation, which occurred on November 4, 1612. Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky were the leaders of this uprising and therefore became national heroes.
Unity Day was not made a national holiday until 1649 and was done so by the Russian Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich.  Yet, when the Bolsheviks came to power, they replaced it with a new holiday, which was on November 7, and it commemorated the Revolution of 1917.  In 2005, the Russian Parliament removed the commemoration of the Revolution of 1917 as a national holiday and reinstated Unity Day as a national holiday.
Russians celebrate Unity Day in many different ways.  Many lay flowers on the statues of the national heroes who led the uprising.  Russian Orthodox Christians usually attend a church service to honor Our Lady of Kazan (a Russian Orthodox icon) who's feast day is held on November 4.  Many concerts and exhibitions will also take place on this day to commemorate the holiday.

*Statues of Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky

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