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VICTORYDAY IN RUSSIA Many Russians celebrate Victory Day on May 9. On this day, TV networks broadcast World War II-inspired films, younger generations honor veterans, and the festivities culminate in a military parade at Moscow’s Red Square. What do people do? Many people watch the fireworks at night on Victory Day. The biggest parade is in Moscow’s Red Square, showcasing Russia’s military forces. Most veterans wear their medals as they head to the parade or an event organized by a local veteran organization. Another tradition Another tradition is to give flowers, usually red carnations, to veterans in the street and to lay wreaths at the war memorial sites Public Life Victory Day is a national holiday in Russia. Public offices, schools and most businesses are closed for the celebrations. There may be changes in public transport routes due to parades and street performances. Background Victory Day marks Germany’s surrender to the Soviet Union 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. Interestingly, until its 20th anniversary (May 9, 1965), Victory Day was not a major holiday, unlike, for instance, May 1, and was considered a work day. Apart from the anniversaries in 1965 and 1985, Victory Day celebrations in the Soviet Union did not feature a military parade. This tradition started in 1995. Symbols St. George ribbon people wear this black-and-yellow ribbon on their clothes Red carnations – blood red is the color of the Soviet flag under which the veterans had fought. Red Star medal – a military distinction for bravery.