Unity Day in Russia
Unity Day, also known as National Unity Day, is a national holiday in Russia. In the Russian language, it is called "День народного единства" (Den narodnogo edinstva). This day is celebrated on the 4th of November every year, and it commemorates the popular uprising that led to the expulsion of Polish-Lithuanian occupation forces from Moscow in 1612.
Unity Day was first introduced in Russia in 2005 by then-President Vladimir Putin to replace the Soviet-era holiday, the Day of the Great October Socialist Revolution, which was celebrated on November 7th. The holiday celebrates the unity of the Russian people and the end of the Time of Troubles, a period of political crisis and foreign intervention in Russia that lasted from 1598 to 1613. The historical event that marked the end of this era was the uprising led by Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, which resulted in the expulsion of Polish-Lithuanian forces from Moscow on November 4, 1612.
National customs for Unity Day in Russia
On Unity Day, various events and activities take place all over Russia to celebrate the country's unity and history. These events include concerts, exhibitions, and patriotic speeches. Many people choose to spend this day with their families and friends, attending outdoor events or simply enjoying a day off together.
One of the central events of Unity Day is the "Russian March," a nationalist rally held in major cities across the country. Participants in the march express their support for the unity of the Russian people and often carry flags, banners, and signs with patriotic messages.
Another important aspect of Unity Day is the commemoration of the historical figures who played a key role in the events of 1612. In particular, citizens pay tribute to Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, whose statues stand in front of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. People lay flowers at the statues and attend religious services dedicated to these national heroes.
Local customs for Unity Day in Russia
In addition to the national customs, different regions in Russia may have their own unique ways of celebrating Unity Day. For example, in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, which is Kuzma Minin's birthplace, there is an annual reenactment of the events that took place in 1612. Participants dress in historical costumes and recreate the military actions and the dramatic story of the uprising.
In Moscow, the Kremlin hosts a special reception attended by political figures, religious leaders, and other prominent guests. This event emphasizes the importance of unity among the diverse communities that make up Russia.
Unity Day is a significant holiday in Russia that celebrates the unity of the Russian people and the end of the Time of Troubles. With various events and activities taking place across the country, the holiday provides an opportunity for citizens to come together, remember their shared history, and celebrate the strength and resilience of their nation.