Day #37: Victory Day in Russia

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Europe » Russia » Siberia » Novosibirsk
May 17th 2013
Published: May 21st 2013
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Victory Day in Russia is a major event and a national holiday. The tone (in contrast to Remembrance Day in the UK) is celebratory, with military parades, fairs, and finally, in the evening, fireworks.

The main military parade (complete with aeroplane flyovers) is in Moscow of course, but the Novosibirsk version is significant too and it felt like the whole city had turned out for it. We turned up for the start of the parade just before 10am, and it was hard to get any sort of view at all - the streets were lined 3 or 4 people deep. However, we could just see enough to make it interesting - a parade of various military companies, followed by a parade of military vehicles, including jeeps and tanks. I was amused by the speed at which some of the vehicles "paraded" - the jeeps must have been travelling at 50mph, if you blinked you would miss them.

After the main military parade there are various other events, the most interesting of which were a junior athletics competition and, later, a parade - apparently a new tradition, since so few veterans of the 1939-1945 war are still alive - where relatives of people who fought in the war carry placards featuring photographs of their deceased antecedants. Whilst all of this is going on there were various stages featuring both children and adults performing, plus a junior athletics competition. In the evening the fireworks display was short but spectacular.

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