May 9, Victory Day in Russia

May 9, Victory Day in Russia

May 9th is the Victory day in Russia. Yesterday we celebrated the 73nd anniversary of the Great Victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War.

In fact, this national holiday is the most popular and touching holiday in Russia because there was not a family in our country that did not fear these terrible events of the Great Patriotic War that lasted 1418 days and nights.

The celebration starts in the morning with the Victory Parade that is being held in 25 Russian cities to commemorate the Soviet Union’s enormous sacrifices in the war—an estimated 25 million dead and at the same time make a display of the strength of Russia’s modern military. The biggest Parade is in Moscow on the Red Square. This year’s Parade was attended by 13 thousand people, 159 military equipment and 75 aircraft.

The pedestrian column procession included officers, sergeants and soldiers of military units, students and cadets of military educational schools, women soldiers, as well as the FSB, Rosgvardia and the Ministry of Emergency Situations crews.

This year, the official guests of the parade were Serbian President Alexander Vučić and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

There is always online broadcasting of the parade and everybody has a chance to watch the parade as the centerpiece of Russia’s most solemn secular holiday. It is worth watching as it is very beautiful and great.

During the day there are various celebrations all around the country, some prefer to stay at home and watch a military Soviet movie based on the events of those days. Some families gather and host a dinner to honor and remember those family members who participated in the War and passed away. Some go to take part in the Immortal Regiment and finally in the evening watch the traditional May 9th fireworks.

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Symbols of the Victory day in Russia:

St. George ribbon – this is black and orange ribbon that can be spotted on clothes, bags or tied to car antennas as a sign of respect and remembrance. The St. George ribbon corresponds to the ribbon, which covered the medal “For victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.” Russia’s Imperial Order of St George and is associated with military glory. There is a free public action on the distribution of these symbolic ribbons dedicated to the celebration of the Victory Day in Russia which is held under the slogans: “Grandfather’s victory is my Victory”, “I remember! I’m proud!”, “We are the heirs of the Great Victory!”, “Thanks to my grandfather for the victory!”

Red carnations – blood red is the color of the Soviet flag under which the veterans had fought. In all Russian cities there is a ceremony of laying flowers to the Eternal Flame, usually it is an even number of red carnations. And there is a tradition to to give flowers to veterans in the street.

The Red Star medal – a military distinction for bravery.

 

Immortal Regiment

Immortal Regiment is a public action-procession, during which people carry photos of their relatives who participated in the Great Patriotic War. The history of the action began in 2007 in Tyumen city. The procession was held under the name “Parade of the winners”. The name “Immortal Regiment” appeared in 2012 in Tomsk. In 2013, the campaign spread to 120 cities. A year later, residents of 500 cities in seven countries came to the streets with portraits of relatives war-veterans. Since 2015, this action has officially become all-Russian.

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According to the media this year 10 million 400 thousand people passed in columns with portraits of their relatives all over the country. In St. Petersburg and in Moscow the number of those who took part in the Regiment exceeded one million people.

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ExploRussia participated in the Immortal Regiment in Moscow and this is for sure one of the best mass action that we have ever attended. You see all those faces, that fought for their homes and country, you are overfilled with the feeling of gratitude, pride and you will do everything for our children to know this heroic exploit of our grand relatives and never forget about it.

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There are poem lines that will always draw us to tears. The poem is called “Requiem” by Robert Rozhdestvensky and it explains what people feel in this great Victory Day in Russia.

***

Remember!

Through the ages, through years, –

do remember!

About those,

who won’t come ever, –

remember!

Don’t burst into tears!

In your throat

keep up your groans,

bitter hard groans.

Be worthy

of memory

of the fallen soldiers!

Forever

be worthy!

With bread and with songs,

with dreams and with poems,

with life, vast and broad,

with every

second,

with every

breath,

be worthy!

People!

While your hearts

remember!

What was the price

for happiness,-

please,

do remember!

When you send

your song

to fly in sky,-

remember!

About those,

who won’t sing either,-

remember!

Tell your children

about them-

that to be learned!

Tell the children of children

about them,

for they would

also learn!

And in all the times

of the eternal Earth

remember!

Launching to the stars

the spaceships your’s,-

remember!

Meet the quiverig spring,

all people of Earth.

Kill the War,

Damn it,

curse,

people of Earth!

Carry your dream through the years

and feel it with life!..

But remember

about those,

who never will come, –

I spell you, –

remember!

***

photos of the Parade are taken from government.ru with Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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