Among the state holidays celebrated in Russia there is one when people smile with tears in their eyes and cry with a smile on their lips. This is Victory Day, celebrated on the 9th of May. It is the day when the victory of the Soviet army over Nazis Germany is being commemorated.
World War II in Russia is usually called the Great Patriotic War and its time frame is different from World War II. For Russia the war started on the 22nd of June 1941 and finished on the 9th of May 1945.
There isn’t a family in the Soviet Union which was not affected by the war. Almost everybody has lost someone – a son or a father, a brother or a friend. This year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the great victory.
The celebrations will started at 9:00 a.m. with a parade of military ships on the Neva. Then at 10:00 a.m. a military parade will take place on Palace Square. The entrance to Palace Square was strictly by invitation but it was possible to see the regiments march by near the square and the parade was broadcast live by local TV channels along with the main parade of the country which took place on Red square in Moscow.
At 5:00 p.m. a social event called the Eternal Regiment took place on Nevsky Prospect. The event was actually started in 2012 in Tomsk and last year it took place in over 500 cities all over Russia and also in other countries. The main goal of this social campaign is to preserve the memory within the families of their heroes who fought against fascism. The event is actually a parade in which people will march from Vostaniya Square to Palace Square. Anyone can take part in the parade, the only condition is that you must have a poster with a portrait of your family member who participated in the war – either fighting at the front line or working in the factories. Last year in St Petersburg the march lasted for several hours – this is how long it took all the people to go along Nevsky Prospect.
At 10:00 p.m. there were fireworks shot from Peter and Paul Fortress.