Unity Day in Russia

Every November 4th is observed as Unity Day in Russia. This day celebrates unity among the diverse ethnic groups in the country. It is also used to commemorate the popular uprising that occurred in Moscow against Polish forces during the 17th century.

Although this holiday has been around for quite some time, only about a quarter of Russians know the name of this holiday. Russians are more familiar with the Day of Accord and Reconciliation that took place during the 1990s than with Unity Day. Even so, it is a holiday that is beginning to be celebrated more as time goes by.

The History of Unity Day in Russia

Also known as National Unity Day or Day of People’s Unity, this holiday commemorates a Russian popular uprising that took place on November 4th, 1612, which freed Moscow from Polish-Lithuanian forces. After this event, Russian Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich declared November 4th a public holiday, and it was celebrated until 1917 in Russia.

However, in 1918, it was replaced by a new holiday by the Bolsheviks to commemorate the 1917 Russian Revolution. Unity Day did not become an official holiday until 2005 when the Russian Parliament removed November 7th from the list of official public holidays and reinstated Unity Day.

Observing Unity Day in Russia

Since this is a public holiday, it is observed across the Russian Federation. That means schools and government offices are closed, as are post offices and most businesses. Public transportation may also be operating on a holiday schedule.

If November 4th falls on a weekend, then most observations are moved to the following Monday. Most Russians take advantage of this day off to spend time with friends and family members and enjoy a day off from work.

Where is it celebrated?
Russia (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 4 Monday
Next year (2025)
November 4 Tuesday
Last year (2023)