The only true Russian Revolution of 1917 began March 8 - February 23 by the Julian Calendar still in use in Russia, hence it was called the February Revolution (it was also International Women’s Day). It culminated in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II a week later. Because of the privations of war, looming famine, and general mismanagement of the country, wide segments of society—including many monarchists—called on Nicholas to step down. He was forced to do so when his carriage was trapped in a railway station on his return trip from visiting WWI troops.
What happened in October (or November by the Gregorian Calendar) is most accurately described as a coup. I’m not going into great detail here – interested readers can do their own research on Wikipedia or, better yet, read a large work like Utopia in Power. In any event, it was not an overthrow of the tsardom, but rather of the provisional government. Furthermore, the Bolsheviks managed to force new elections for December, but when they garnered only about a quarter of the votes, they forcibly shut down the newly convened legislature in early January, one of their greatest crimes against democracy.
Lest anyone think I’m repeating some right-wing cant, please see the interpretation of leftist American linguist and political commentator Noam Chomsky below. If you want to cut to the quick, forward to 4:20. As he points out near the end, Lenin, along with Felix Dzerzhinsky, established the Cheka, the precursor of the KGB. Lenin and the Bolsheviks are nothing to celebrate.
But the broad-based, genuine February Revolution is worthy of commemoration. I think it's time to take back the holiday!