Victory Day traditions:
– Uniforms: You’d be amazed at how many veterans can still fit into their dress uniforms from the 1941-1945 conflict. Not all can, but a good number somehow manage.
– Medals: It is expected that a veteran wear their medals. They’re not bragging. It is okay to compliment a veteran on a particular medal or to politely ask about it. If you weren’t a veteran, please don’t wear medals purchased on Ebay, etc. That would be considered as in very bad form.
– Flowers: Flowers are on sale everywhere and it is customary to buy flowers and then give a flower to veterans you meet on the street. We enjoy giving a flower to a vet that doesn’t have as many as the others or to those who seem alone/lonely. Many have lost their families and a simple gesture of gratitude on your part could lift their spirits and remind them that their sacrifices are still appreciated.
– Veterans reception: this is an event held each 08 May in the elegant Grand Kremlin Palace. By special invitation veterans groups are hosted by the president who offers congratulatory remarks.
– 09 May marks the official day of the celebration and the largest event is the parade on Red Square.
– Veterans Ball: held in the late afternoon/early evening after the Victory Parade on Red Square, the ball is attended by select government officials, visiting dignitaries and specially invited veterans. It is an elegant ball held inside the Grand Kremlin Palace.
– Mass public celebration at Victory Park in Moscow. Thousands attend and it is a fun and festive outdoor event that lasts all day and late into the night on Victory Day, 09 May. At night are concerts and the 1,418 fountains, a fountain for every day of the war, flow red as a symbol of the 28+ million citizens who lost their lives during that terrible time.
– Picnics: whether gathered at Victory Park or in a smaller park setting, thousands upon thousands of picnics will be held across the FSU region on 08 and 09 May. If you’re part of a picnic and see an elderly vet alone, invite them to join your family and make them feel appreciated during this special event.