May 8th is known as Victory Day in most of the former Soviet Union. This is the day, they say, that the communists defeated the fascists. In America we call this day VE Day, Victory in Europe; when the Germans surrendered to the Allies.
It was quite the affair. Soldiers dressed in their finest uniforms, laden with various medals and what appear to be grossly oversized hats, marching in formation through the town square. Military bands performing on a small stage in front of the town hall as what seemed like the whole city crowded in to watch. People laying huge assortments of flowers and wreaths before war memorials.
On the television were day long broadcasts of the celebrations all over the former Soviet Union; parades in Red Square, Kiev, Belarus, etc...Music videos celebrating the winning of the war; And politicians like Putin giving lively speeches to emotional crowds.
It was a uniquely former soviet style of celebration and quite a moving experience to be part of.