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Muscovites Send a Message of Peace and Tolerance on National Unity Day

On Wednesday, Russians celebrated the country’s newest holiday, National Unity Day.

Originally established to commemorate Moscow’s liberation from the Polish-Lithuanian occupation in 1612, it now also aims to promote ethnic and religious tolerance among the country’s diverse population.

Though 15 years have passed since Nov. 4 was first marked as a public holiday, the date still lacks meaning for most Russians who treat it as “just another day off.”

In an attempt to popularize the holiday’s spirit, Moscow’s authorities chose to mark the date with a public workshop titled “We Are United.”

Here is a closer look at the celebrations: