The Victory in the World War II is celebrated in Russia on May 9. Usually the happenings start from May 3 – 4 and run on up to May 13 – 14. The program is rich in different concerts, theatrical productions, exhibitions, meetings with war soldiers and sports competitions. The central, solemn events are held on May 9, on the very day when the end of the war had been announced to the Soviet people.
This day has a special significance for St. Petersburg (former Leningrad). Its residents and defenders had shown the absolute courage during the war. The city endured 872 days of the Siege and did not surrender to the enemy. Leningrad was awarded the title of Hero City for this act of bravery.
During victory day the streets are overcrowded with thousands of citizens, veterans wearing full-dress uniforms, survivors of siege and the defenders of Leningrad that are coming over from different parts of Russia. The streets are decorated with flowers and flags.
The holiday gets started with the military parade on Palace Square. Nevsky Prospect – the main street of the city – holds the parade of Veterans. There is a touching moment when as a tribute to the memory of the dead the torches are lightened up on the rostral columns. Further still the solemn wreath-laying ceremonies are held at the memorial of Piskaryovskoye and Serafimovskoye cemeteries where the victims of the Siege are buried. And the gala concert runs on Palace Square.
The culmination point of this day is the breathtaking firework that takes place at the walls of Peter-and-Paul fortress at 22:00.
Translation by Evgeniya Gavrilova