Yesterday was Unity Day in Russia, which celebrates the end of the Time of Troubles (the fifteen years after Ivan the Terrible died and left no heir as he had killed his only son…) and foreign intervention in Russia. It is usually celebrated with big parades and no work.
This holiday is particularly interesting as it falls 3 days before the anniversary of the October Revolution (Nov. 7). Some say that Unity Day is played up to overshadow the anniversary of the Bolsheviks. During Soviet Times there would be a large military parade on the 7th, highlighting the USSR’s military power. During WWII, when Hitler’s troops were advancing on Moscow, Stalin ordered a large military parade to be staged in the Red Square. The young soldiers proudly marched through the capital and straight on to the battlefield where most perished. The following video features pictures from WWII Russia set to the song “The Sacred War” composed in honor of that March.
I highly recommend that you watch it.