November 4, 2011 - Unity Day – Russia

This holiday was first celebrated on this date in 2005. But it commemorates an event that happened centuries ago!

You see, in 1612, Polish invaders were driven out of Moscow by a Russian uprising. The idea behind the day is that all sorts of Russians—the poorest to the richest—unified together in order to eject the foreign invaders. The victory for Russia was celebrated for years, from 1649 to 1917, but under communist (Soviet) rule, the holiday was no longer observed and was no doubt largely forgotten. Now that the Soviet Union has broken up, former Russian president Vladimir Putin resurrected the holiday.

In order to teach the history behind the “new” (old) holiday, a film called 1612 was made.

How many of your nation's holidays do you understand in their historical context? Are there any patriotic national holidays that used to be celebrated in your country, but that are now largely forgotten?

Here is a minute-long news broadcast about the holiday. 

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