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. In October 2012, Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree that would extend the Victory Day Celebrations from Thursday, May 9, 2013 to Sunday, May 12, 2013.
Russians wears some common symbols to idolize the Victory Day. Those symbols includes:
St. George ribbon – people wear this black-and-yellow ribbon on their clothes or tie it to car antennas as a sign of respect and remembrance.
Red carnations – blood red is the color of the Soviet flag under which the veterans had fought. Laying an even number of red carnations at war memorial sites signifies mourning and remembrance.
Red Star medal – a military distinction for bravery.
The St George ribbon, red carnations and the Red Star medal are seen on Victory Day.
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