Russian Victory Day World War II 1941 1945 9th May A Common Holiday

Russia celebrates Victory Day

As the celebration of Russia’s victory over Germany marks its celebration on the 9th of May an insight needs illustrating of how Russian’s celebrate the Victory Day of the Great Patriotic War. The end of the Great Patriotic War came for Russia in 1945 with the defeat of Germany, but not without the greatest losses of a nation in any war on the face of the world. The revised figures estimate Russia lost nearly 30 million people. Half of the colossal 30 millions figures were civilian casualties. A national tragedy unmatched by any other country in either war or peace.

Even today the nation needs to overcome this deficit in its own population. The current government offers women who bear three children financial incentives to promote population growth. A Second child gives maternity money of around 377,000 roubles (about $13,000). This money’s primarily used for buying property, and educating the child. However some republics (including the Republic of Bashkortostan in the Urals) propose to give free land for the birth of the third child.

Victory Day remains one of the biggest Russian holidays. It’s a clean indicator of Germany’s final surrender to the Soviet Union in 1945. Ending what’s undoubtedly one of the bloodiest wars in Russia’s history if not the whole world. Victory Day holds very special attention within the Russian psyche as a catharsis for the amount of injury suffered during the Great Patriotic War, or as we in the west refer to as World War II.

A Russian man and woman begin to remember the dead of World War II, the Great Patriotic Day celebration and holiday
A Russian man and woman begin to remember the dead of World War II, the Great Patriotic Day celebration and holiday
Flowers are laid down by Men , Women and Children during the celebration and holiday of the 9th of May
Flowers are laid down by Men , Women and Children during the celebration and holiday of the 9th of May

The celebration begins in true remembrance on the 9th of May within every Russian town

Parades begin in each town’s main street. Students, schools, and business organisations celebrate with waving banners, as well as other assorted signs. Flowers get exchanged as a gift as well as balloons too. They symbolize the act of congratulating each other. All the people stand around and look at the parade. Musical concerts remain a regular feature of the Victory Day celebration. Children’s dance events feature strongly within the celebrations as they pay their respect and thanks to the veterans both present and deceased.

Food and drink, including shashlik and the drinking of kumis is tradtional as Russian/s unite and celebrate. In addition the holiday also represents a chance for political parties to gather support, although their presence is often subdued and does not form a major part of the celebraiton and holiday.

Russias Day of Celebration the 9th of May Holiday

The defeat of National Socialist Forces at the hands of St George the patron saint of Moscow - the black and orange ribbon is worn during the war remembrance and celebration day of 9th May.
The defeat of National Socialist Forces at the hands of St George the patron saint of Moscow - the black and orange ribbon is worn during the war remembrance and celebration day of 9th May.

Russia Today and the 9th of May Food!

Food stalls spring up everywhere, as well as food buying different presents or souvenirs lends a strong presence.

In the evening fireworks light the sky as people let off many explosions in celebration. Victory Day’s biggest firework events occur in Moscow. Drinking features as a way of celebrating while eating. Normal Russian beverages include beer and vodka.

Soldiers make a presence only at the main Moscow Red Square celebration. The Victory Day celebrations also acts as a showcase for Russian military might although this tradition did not officially start until 1995. The showcase includes the latest Russian military hardware.

Traditional symbols of the celebration of Victory Day in the Russian Federation include:

  • The Saint George Ribbon which consist of a black and yellow ribbon. Saint George exists as the patron saint of Moscow, amongst other nations, as well as a traditional associated icon of England. The Saint George ribbon’s usually tied to clothing or cars as a symbolism of respect and remembrance.
  • Wearing of red carnations to mark the colour of the Soviet flag remains popular amongst all the people. Even numbers of red carnations get placed at war memorials throughout the towns to remember the dead and the sacrifices made for the Motherland. The wreaths get placed by local government officials.
  • Wearing a Red Star medal as a symbol of bravery it’s a unique medal of distinction offered thought the Great Patriotic War.


A Russian Wold War II veteran places a poppy on a war memorial site during the Russia celebration of the Patriotic War
A Russian Wold War II veteran places a poppy on a war memorial site during the Russia celebration of the Patriotic War

May Victory Day and Holiday begins

As the days wind down the route for the celebration has already been determined. The weather look promising as well, with clear skies and no rain.

As the birch trees begin to bud at the signs of Spring a truly memorable national holiday begins to shine within the Russian people as they prepare for their Victory Day celebration.

As time moves on the people of Russia will always remember their dead. The invasion of their homeland was an invasion of their own beliefs.

What amazes me is the respect still shown to this very day. Today I read a slogan that reads "thank you for Victory" is about 20 meters across the central the central prospekt running through the second largest city in the Republic of Bashkortostan.


2 Days the preprations for the Patriotic War celebrations get under way

Only 2 days left and the preparations begin to rehearse. Young pioneers (aged 13-15 years) practice their drills before the war memorials.

Russia war propaganda poster of World War II showing German and dominant Russian aircraft in combat
Russia war propaganda poster of World War II showing German and dominant Russian aircraft in combat

Russia and the Saint Georges Ribbon

Many people begin to wear St George Ribbons already as the day of the celebration and respect draws near. Many places have already set out chairs in anticipation on the crowds. When I was last at this holiday celebration a few days before I saw 200 hundred empty chairs set out before the world war II memorial. No one will disturb or touch these chairs to do so would disrespect the dead of Russia. The very-burning flame to remember those who sacrifices their lives also burns 365 days a year. With the weather looking good in Russia the memorials are bound to be excellent.

Victory Day in Moscow 9th May

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Was the Victory Day in Russian 2011 Hub useful? 5 comments

diogenese 5 years ago

We tend to forget or downplay Russia's sacrifice in keeping the Hun from its doors. Undoubtedly, without this second front, Hitler would have won the war against Britain. We used to see Russia as being intransient over keeping Germany divided so long; with this information, we have a better idea why. Good article...Bob


diogenese 5 years ago

We tend to forget or downplay Russia's sacrifice in keeping the Hun from its doors. Undoubtedly, without this second front, Hitler would have won the war against Britain. We used to see Russia as being intransient over keeping Germany divided so long; with this information, we have a better idea why. Good article...Bob


johndwilliams profile image

johndwilliams 5 years ago from Essex England Author

Thanks Bob - yes that's my understanding and why Stalin never trusted Roosevelt and Churchill and vice-versa, even despite the lend-lease & trade between the three countries - Russia certainly did stall and cause Germany to fall on the Eastern Front.. the longer UK/US appeared to stall Normandy the weaker Germany became, and the more annoyed Stalin became - hence the race for Berlin and then the cold war... but that's another Hub :) John


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

Excellent Hub reflecting thorough research and an impartial view of history...The Russian winter deserves much of the credit for the defeat of Hitler's Operation Barbarossa...After Stalin decimated the Russian officer corps in the 30's the leadership of Russia's armies was unimaginative and clumsy...Brutal frontal attacks resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths...

Voted up and useful...Thanks, Larry


johndwilliams profile image

johndwilliams 5 years ago from Essex England Author

Thanks Larry!

Yes I agree the weather certainly made the logistical element of supplying a huge front almost impossible... combined with the effect of the German Blitzkrieg racing ahead leaving many Russian units behind who of course turned into partisans and harried the supply chain.

Yes its ironic Stalin's purges made the army less effective and counted for many of the crushing defeats early in the war.

Glad you liked reading all and thanks for the vote up

John

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