National Unity Day is traditionally celebrated in Russia on November 4. This holiday was established in 2005 and has been an official holiday since then.
On November 4 (October 22, old style), 1612, the people’s militia led by the zemstvo elder Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky liberated Moscow from the Polish invaders. With the expulsion of Poles from the Kremlin, a long period of Time of Troubles in Russia ended. A few months after the liberation of Moscow, a new tsar was elected, who was a representative of the Romanov dynasty, Mikhail.
In 1613, Tsar Mikhail established the Day of the Cleansing Moscow from Polish Invaders. In 1649, by decree of Tsar Alexei, the date was declared a church-state holiday. On this day, the Russian Orthodox Church honours the memory of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God “for the liberation of Moscow and Russia from the invasion of the Poles in 1612”. This happens so as, according to legend, the icon was sent from Kazan to Prince Dmitry and became the patroness of the people’s militia.
One of the explanations for why such a name was chosen for the holiday can serve as an explanatory note to the draft law on the introduction of a new holiday.
"On November 4, 1612, the soldiers of the people's militia [...] demonstrated a model of heroism and unity of the whole people, regardless of origin, religion and position in society."
It is reminded that in Soviet times, the date November 4 was not celebrated, as November 7 was considered the most important holiday, the October Revolution Day. In 1996, the holiday was renamed the Day of Reconciliation and Consent. In September 2004, the Interreligious Council of Russia proposed to make November 4 a holiday and celebrate it as National Unity Day.
This year, the Russian regions celebrate National Unity Day mostly online due to restrictive measures related to the coronavirus and the period of non-working days in the country (from October 30 to November 7). Country residents can virtually attend online exhibitions, flash mobs, festivals, lectures, and much more.
Besides, on this day, Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay a working visit to Sevastopol to lay flowers at the memorial complex dedicated to the end of the Civil War, and will also meet with the governor of the city Mikhail Razvozhaev. In turn, those who would like to follow the Moscow broadcasts on a festive day should follow the updates on the Culture.RF portal.
Another good news was that after a thick fog that scared Moscow residents in the last days, local meteorologists promised November 4 to become the third among the warmest days in the capital region in the history of meteorological observations, TASS reports. The air in the city will warm up to 11 degrees Celsius, which is seven to eight degrees above normal.
“National Unity Day will be one of the warmest in meteorological history! During the day, the initiative in the atmosphere of Central Russia will be intercepted by the intermediate crest of the anticyclone, thanks to which there will be no precipitation, the clouds will thin out, and the sun will warm the air in Moscow to plus 9-11 degrees, in the Moscow region to plus 7-12 degrees. Such a temperature background is 7-8 degrees higher than the norm in November and corresponds to the long-term indicators of the beginning of October,” the Leading Employee of the ‘Fobos’ weather centre, Evgeny Tishkovets, said.