Holiday canceled, but 200,000 celebrate Russian Revolution

Though the long-standing Nov. 7 holiday celebrating the anniversary of the Russian Revolution has been canceled, press reports indicate that nearly 200,000 people throughout the country observed the holiday anyway, with rallies, demonstrations and ceremonies.

Over 10,000 Communist Party members and supporters marched through Moscow’s main streets before holding a rally downtown. They carried banners and signs with the slogans, “A national status to the Great October Holiday!” “Lenin! October! Socialism!” and “Nov. 7 was, is and will be the Holiday of the People.”

Last year President Vladimir Putin signed a law canceling the Nov. 7 holiday and replacing it with the “Day of People’s Unity,” Nov. 4, commemorating the end of Polish intervention in 1612. Polls show most Russians are unhappy or indifferent at the change.

On the eve of the holiday, Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov led some 2,000 people through Red Square to lay red carnations at Lenin’s tomb.

“Many achievements of the Soviet epoch laid the foundations for modern society,” Zyuganov said in a statement on the party’s website. “The repeal of the Nov. 7 holiday will bring nobody the laurels of a hero.”

Russian media reported that rallies and demonstrations organized by Russian communist and left parties were also held in some 482 cities and towns including St. Petersburg, Krasnojarsk, Ulyanovsk, Kurgan, Kirov and Tula.