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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Russia Series at RussianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Russian holidays and observances. I’m Jenny, and you're listening to Season 1 Lesson 19 - National Unity Day.
In this lesson, we will discuss a holiday in Russia that is called “National Unity Day”, which in Russian is День народного единства (Den' narodnava yedinstva). This holiday was instituted to commemorate the events of 1612 and the people’s unification against the enemy called Rzeczpospolita. The holiday is observed every year on November 4 and is a day off work.
Now, before we go into more detail, we’ve got a question for you-
Do you know which Orthodox holiday is also observed on November 4?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening.
National Unity Day was instituted in 2004 with the federal law called "On the Days of Military Glory and Memorable Dates in Russia.” This holiday is connected to the liberation of Moscow from the Polish invaders in 1612 by the people’s army, which was led by Кузьма Минин, Kuzma Minin and Дмитрий Пожарский, Dmitry Pozharsky. It was thanks to the unity and solidarity of all the people that the victory over their common enemy was achieved.
Traditionally on this day, a festive reception is held in the Grand Kremlin Palace, which in Russian is known as Большо́й Кремлёвский дворе́ц, Bal'shóy Kremlyofskiy dvaréts. The Patriarch of Moscow and all of Rus’, Kirill and other representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, representatives of the state government, and various people from the fields of science and culture are invited to attend.
On this festive day, the President of the Russian Federation presents government awards to Russian Federation citizens, and foreign citizens, who have contributed to the strengthening of friendly relations and cooperation with Russia, and to the popularization and development of the Russian language and Russian culture in other countries.
On this holiday, various fairs, festivals, and concerts are held. On November 4, some organizations hold a “Day of Good Deeds”, which in Russian is called День добрых дел (Den' dobrykh del), when everyone is invited to do a good deed, help someone, or take part in a charity.
Now, returning to our earlier quiz, do you know which Orthodox holiday is also observed on November 4?
November 4 is also the Feast of Kazan, the Icon of the Mother of God. Before their march, Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin prayed before this very icon and then took it with them as they led their armies.
So, listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn something new?
Is there a holiday similar to National Unity Day in your country?
Leave a comment at RussianPod101.com, and I’ll see you in the next lesson!