Victory Day is a holiday that commemorates the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War. It was first inaugurated in the republics of the Soviet Union, following the signing of the German Instrument of Surrender late in the evening on 8 May 1945 (after midnight, thus on 9 May Moscow Time). The Soviet government announced the victory early on 9 May after the signing ceremony in Berlin.
Marshal Zhukov reading the German capitulation:
One of the most remarkable public events in Russia is the Victory Day. It is traditionally celebrated on the 9th of May. The holiday marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the Second World War in 1945. It became the end of the Great Patriotic War for the USSR, which lost about 25 million citizens in the four years of fighting and starvation.
Every year all cities across the country have lots of parades and celebrations. Even though the fact that the holiday is celebrated cheerfully, May 9 is a sad day for the majority of our population. Many people have lost close relatives and friends in this terrible war. Almost every family in Russia has a person who didn’t return from the battlefield. A great number of people were seriously injured and became disabled. On this day we are grateful to our saviors, to those who sacrificed their lives for us. That’s why we try to celebrate this day with honors.
There are some traditions that we follow. We give flowers, usually red carnations, to veterans in the street and lay wreaths at war memorial sites. Schools may host a program prepared by the students, featuring wartime songs and poetry. Also, there is St. George ribbon campaign. Millions of Russians and compatriots in 100 countries take part in this campaign. Orange–black ribbons handed out by volunteers in the streets are one more sign of our commemoration of the Great Victory. At home, we gather around a festive table to honor survivors and honor those who passed away. We may also watch a favorite Soviet film based on the events of World War II.
I think it’s a great day in our history.