Russians don’t see People’s Unity Day as state holiday – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW. Oct 31 (Interfax) – Over a half of Russians (54%) see the Day of People’s Unity marked on November 4 as another day off and only 11% celebrate it as “a state holiday that unites the people of Russia and the country as a whole,” according to the Superjob.ru portal.

It polled 1,000 respondents on October 17-18.

“I see it as an extra day off. This holiday was invented because the November 7 holiday had become outdated but everyone was accustomed to the November holiday season. I can always use an extra day off,” the respondents said.

The number of Russians who did not distinguish that day from other days off was bigger, 61%, in October 2011.

Four percent of the respondents said November 4 coincided with their personal holidays, such as birthdays, weddings and so on. Three percent said it was their working day, and another 3% associated it with the former holiday, the day of the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Two percent said November 4 was not a holiday at all, and 1% said they were celebrating the Day of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan on November 4. A fifth of the respondents (19%) could not answer the question.

Many respondents presumed that the sole purpose of the new holiday was to substitute the traditional celebrations of November 7.

They regretted that “Russia failed to generate its national idea although it had tried hard and there was no solid ground for people’s unity as of yet.”