Editor's note: It is hard to convey to Western readers how emotionally powerful Victory Day is in Russia. It celebrates the central national narrative of the Russian State, and is BY FAR the most popular secular holiday of the year. The only one to match it in importance is Easter, the main religious holiday.
Put aside historical arguments around WW2 for a day, and get a taste of how Russians mark, what is for them, a quasi-religious memory.
The massive, awe-inspiring military parade, the bemedalled grandfatherly veterans, and in recent years, the marching of millions of Russians across the country with portraits of their ancestors who fought in the war (The Immortal Regiment), is truly stupendous. If you ever have a chance to be in Russia on May 9, don't miss the opportunity. Russians are the world champs in pageantry, and May 9 is when they pull out all the stops. It is a heart stopping, tear-jerking spectacle - all day long.
RI is publishing selected articles today from our archives about WW2 as Russia takes the day off to remember this extraordinary historical event.
Originally published in May of 2015.
This song is huge fun and a great favorite throughout Russia, and many people are able to sing it in its entirety. This flashmob is a delight to watch. Lyrics below.
Как-то летом, на рассвете,
Kak-to letom, na rassvete
Once upon a summer dawn,
But the dark Moldavian girl
So the dark Moldavian girl
Yaroslav Sumishevsky (from "People's Mahora" / "Народный Махор" ) organized a flash mob at an electronics store.
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