November in Russia Marks the National Unity Day

National Unity Day

November in Russia Marks the National Unity Day

The national unity day commemorates the people’s upraising against the polish forces in the Russian Empire in 1612, to defend the capital of the country that was taken since 1605, leaving behind all their differences between them in order to recover their country and protect their families.

Everything started in 1584, with the death of Ivan IV, the terrible, who left the country in debt and with nobody who could take charge of his throne like him, lead to desperation that occasioned hunger and epidemics in the population. When his dynasty finished, other people auto named themselves with the title of Tsar and were supported by Poland and Lithuania, slowly these countries brought their armies to the capital and divided the territory with Sweden letting in charge of the northern cities.

By the year 1612, the idea to reunify the country came out. In the city of Нижний Новгород (Nizhni Novgorod), Dmitri Pozharski and Kuzma Minin organized an army from all the social status, before leaving to Moscow the church gave its blessing and also the Virgin of Kazan.

In the evening of the 3rd of November, the army came into Moscow near by the monastery Novodevichi and its surroundings (nowadays the Olympic stadium Luzhniki), then slowly went further up to the downtown defeating the polish who tried to kill them burning all the buildings, three days after the polish forces surrendered.

Next day in the morning, the Russian soldiers walked through the streets of Moscow, carrying the Virgin of Kazan who remained as the savior and protector of the Russians.

In 1613, a new dynasty began with the election of Mikhail Romanov; the Tsar Alexey I decreed the 4th of November as an official and religious day in memory of the soldiers who died protecting the country against the foreign invaders and gave back the freedom to the Russians.

The last time this day was celebrated occurred on 1917, and then the revolution started until the separation of the Soviet Union, stating the 7th of November as the official day of the socialist revolution that left the 4th of November as an insignificant religious festivity.

In 2004, the patriarch Aleksey II, proposed to set this date back for the national festivity when the Russians left on the side their differences, no matter what beliefs, religion or social status they had, they got over their differences to defeat the enemy, because even in the modern times the only thing in common they have is their motherland. In December of the same year, the president Vladimir Putin decreed back the 4th of November as an official festivity.

In order to prove and remember its importance, there is a monument to these two heroes, Dmitri Pozharski and Kuzma Minin, in the red square, just in front of the Kremlin.

This post was brought to you by Anastasia, currently studying Russian at Liden and Denz

Photo source: wikimapia.org

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