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Russian Parliament Moves to Abolish Bolshevik Holiday

The Russian parliament has taken the first step to abolish the main Soviet-era holiday commemorating the 1917 Bolshevik revolution.

The lower house of parliament voted overwhelmingly Friday to remove what is now called Reconciliation Day (November 7) from the official Russian holiday calendar. Prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, it was known as Revolution Day.

The new measure creates in its place People's Unity Day (November 4) marking the liberation of Moscow from Polish troops in 1612. It also drops two other state holidays from the official calendar, but extends Russia's New Year's celebration.

If passed by the upper chamber and signed by President Putin, the measure could take effect in a matter of days, affecting the way Russians welcome 2005.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.