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Victory Day

Public and National Holiday National Holiday in some East European countries

Russian Medals

Who observes Victory Day?
Armenia Armenia
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
Belarus Belarus
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
Russia Russia
Ukraine Ukraine

On 9 May Russia and other countries celebrate the victory over Nazi Germany and the end of the Second World War (also referred to as 'The Great Patriotic War' in Russia).

Russia lost over 20 million people in the war.

Victory day is about remembering those who gave their lives to achieve the victory.

9 May was chosen, as it was already the next day when the German military surrendered to the Soviet Union and its Allies in Berlin late in the evening of 8 May 1945.

Given the loss of life it remembers, it is generally a solemn and sombre day.

It is celebrated by military parades (with the major one taking place in Moscow), concerts, fireworks, recognition of veterans (who usually dress up for the occasion) and food and drink.

The first military parade took place on 9 May 1965, marking 20 years since the victory over Nazi Germany. This is also when Victory Day became a public holiday and became a major event.

As it is quite close to May Day, many Russians take the opportunity to have some extra time off and have a two week break.

Related Links

France France: V-E Day


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