A few somewhat belated notes on Victory Day.
Victory Day is a massive day of celebration in Russia.
If you are based in Moscow then you won’t have much chance of getting into Red Square unless you are in the army, the government or are a close friend of Putin. The square itself and many of the surrounding streets are closed to the public for the parade.
Other cities though, such as mine, are much more open.
My town square becomes alive with a funfair, market stalls and an evening concert, rounded off with a rather decent firework display(Salut).
During celebrations such as these it often seems as if the entire town has turned out, everybody from children to pensioners wander around enjoying the carnival atmosphere.
The evening sees the square morph into an outdoor drinking venue, the drinking continues until well into the night.
Incidentally, if you really want to annoy a Russian, simply suggest that Russia didn’t win the war alone, tell them “England(or the US) won the war” and wait for their reaction!
Happy Women’s Day!
I have to admit, before I first visited Russia I had never heard of Women’s Day.
It barely gets a mention from the UK press. In the UK we celebrate Mother’s Day, but this is only for mothers. Women’s Day is a celebration for all women, whatever their age.
Women’s Day (8th March) is just about the biggest day of celebration in Russia, after New Years Eve.
Many people get a day off from work, ALL women expect the men in their lives to shower them with flowers, chocolates and other gifts and it’s also celebrated in schools. Schoolgirls expect the boys in their class to present them with gifts.
If you have a Russian girlfriend or wife, then you should make a big effort to impress on 8th March or else your girlfriend won’t be too happy.
I would suggest a nice bunch of flowers, but remember your Russian culture, give an odd number of flowers and never give yellow flowers. Giving an even number of flowers is really bad, and whilst you might get away with this as a stupid foreigner it won’t be appreciated. When you buy a bouquet simply count the number of flowers and throw one away if necessary!
Chocolates are a good choice and all Russian food shops will have a wide range of chocolate boxes.
I’m an old hand at this, and I’ve been celebrating Women’s Day for years, so my wonderful Russian wife got lots of presents this morning, and I plan to take her out tonight.
If you have just started writing to a Russian woman then remember how important 8th March is to your lady and give her presents.