Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

#10 - JRL 2006-247 - JRL Home
Poll Shows Majority of Russians 'Negative' on 4 Nov Holiday

MOSCOW. Nov 2 (Interfax) - The attitudes toward the relatively new Russian holiday, People's Unity Day, marked on November 4, are virtually unchanged since it was introduced two years ago, according to polls by the All-Russia Public Surveys Center (VCIOM), the last of which was conducted in 153 communities in 46 Russian regions in October.

In general, 34% of Russians praise the appearance of the new holiday, and 47% have negative attitudes toward it. The responses largely break down along generational lines. Among respondents aged 18- 24, 48% support the step and 27% oppose it. Among those aged from 25 to 34, 41% favor it and 40% are against it. Respondents over 35 more often criticize the step, and among those older than 60 only 23% support it and 61% disapprove.

Most of those who criticize making November 4 a national holiday would like to celebrate the anniversary of the 1917 October revolution on November 7, and the number of those sharing this view has grown to 65% from 50% in the past two years.

The rest proposed making the holiday of the day when ancient Russia was baptized (6%), when serfdom was abolished (3%), when the Battle of Kulikovo took place (2%), of the victory over Napoleon in 1812 (2%), and of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin's birthday (1%).

Almost half of those polled - 49% - do not plan to celebrate November 4, and this figure is even higher (67%) for respondents over 60. The rest either have not yet decided how to mark the holiday (19%), or will gather at a family dinner (14%), visit their friends or relatives (8%), go to a restaurant (2%), or spend it in the country, at a dacha (2%).