Russia celebrates Day of People's Unity
Russia is marking the Day of People's Unity today, dedicated to the liberation of Moscow from foreign intervention in 1612, when Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky formed consolidated militia and saved the country from destruction.
The Unity Day was reinstituted by the Russian Federation in 2005, when the events of the year 1612 have been celebrated instead of those of 1917 every November 4 since.
The 'Time of Troubles' in the early 17th century provoked by the dynastic crisis resulted seriously weakened the country. The pro-Polish factions among the boyars, led by Fyodor Mstislavsk gained dominance and a majority of the boyars said that they would support the Polish prince Władysław IV for the Russian throne.
The leader of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Hermogenes called on Russian people to protect their country. But the anti-Polish uprising of March 19, 1611 was suppressed.
The nation rose together under the leadership of Kuzma Minin, a Nizhny Novgorod merchant, and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky. Russian reinforcements under prince Pozharsky forced the Commonwealth garrison to surrender on the November 4 after the 19-month siege.
In February 1613, with the Poles expelled from Moscow, a national assembly elected Mikhail Romanov, the young son of Patriarch Filaret, to the throne.
In 1649, Russian Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich made November 4 a public holiday - the Day of the Our Lady of Kazan icon. Russians celebrated this day until 1917.
Thus, the Day of People's Unity is not a new holiday, it marks a return to the old tradition, RIA Novosti reports.