Day of Moscow, Birthday Number 868!

Each city has a its own day of celebration in Eastern Europe.

Over the weekend we celebrated the “Day of Moscow” which was officially on 5 September but the city had events on the 5th and 6th. Supposedly 10 million showed up, not hard to do in a city with a 12+ million population.

Looking a various crowds at events and one the streets, however, one had to wonder at the police count because we have seen larger political protests which officials seem to site as 50,000 or so. Russian math, apparently.

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Photo: City of Moscow press pool.

To be sure, there were plenty of celebrations, and good numbers showed up. So, happy 868th birthday, Moscow! You are a grand old lady who has seen a lot of history pass through your gates.

Some of the more fun events included a massive book fair, yes Russians still love to read, at VDNH. It was also the VDNH exhibition grounds that hosted a “Rabbit Breeding” event. Curious, but Russians do raise rabbits at their dachas. That was free to children, but 300 rubles for accompanying adults. Of special note to my artist wife was the free weekend admission to the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.

On Red Square there were booths of all sorts, and a grand celebration of the city that naturally featured a speech by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

Moscow Day 2015 b
Photo: City of Moscow press pool.
Day of Moscow 2015 c
Mayor Sobyanin is seated with Governor of the Moscow Region Sergei Vorobyov and Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to his left, and Prime Minister Medvedev, and Speaker of the Senate Valentina Matviyenko to the right. (Photo: City of Moscow press pool.)

Although the city had dispatched planes with chemicals that were supposed to disperse clouds, Mother Nature had a mind of her own. It was a rainy weekend.

Day of Moscow 2015 Ilya Varlamov a
Photo: Ilya Varlamov.

On Sunday evening, the annual Spasskaya Tower International Music Festival opened on Red Square, and naturally this year’s theme included tributes to Moscow.

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Photo: City of Moscow press pool.

This is the 8th annual Spasskaya Tower International festival. On Saturday the various bands from all over the globe had given free concerts in city parks, etc. The Spasskaya Tower is the “Saviour Tower” and the main clocktower of the Kremlin.

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