People's Unity Day
The Day of Unity of the people ( Russian День народного единства ) is a national holiday in Russia and is held annually on November 4 celebrated. As a public holiday, it was only introduced in 2005 as a replacement for November 7th, which until then celebrated the anniversary of the October Revolution . People's Unity Day commemorates the liberation of Moscow from Polish-Lithuanian occupation in 1612 .
The present day of people's unity was already a public holiday in the Russian Empire until the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917. The occasion was the march of the people's army led by Kusma Minin and Dmitri Poscharski into Moscow on October 22, 1612 (according to the Julian calendar ) , with which the liberation of Russia from the Polish-Lithuanian occupation was initiated in the Polish-Russian war during the Smuta . In 1649, Tsar Alexei I declared October 22nd as a national holiday in all of Russia in memory of the liberation. Originally the day was called the "Day of the Blessed Mother-of-Kazan - Icon " because, according to tradition, it was precisely this icon that Minin and Poscharsky held in front of them when they marched into Moscow. This holiday was celebrated annually in Russia until 1917.
After the October Revolution , the new rulers abolished October 22 as a public holiday. Instead, since then and throughout the entire time of the Soviet Union, Revolution Day has been officially celebrated - originally October 25th, and accordingly on November 7th after the 1918 changeover from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. Even after the dissolution of the Soviet Union , this day remained a national holiday for a few years and was officially called the “Day of Reconciliation and Unity” from 1996 to 2004.
At the end of 2004 , a new law was passed in the Duma on the initiative of some Conservative MPs, including Vladimir Zhirinovsky , which modified the previous holiday regulations in Russia. Both the Day of Reconciliation and Unity and the " Constitution Day", which had been celebrated on December 12th, were abolished as public holidays and instead the Day of People's Unity - the old day of the icon of Our Lady of Kazan - and three additional New Year holidays introduced in early January. The 4th November instead of the original 22nd October results from the calendar changeover - the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars is just 13 days when converting the dates in the 21st century.