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How to spend Russian “May Holidays” in 2015

If you are lucky to spend the first ten days of May in Russia you’re lucky enough!

Plenty of events will be held over the next two weeks. Russians call this period “May holidays”. We have compiled a list of the most exciting upcoming events to help you find out what to see and do during your visit in Russia.

May 1

Spring and Labour Day
Throughout Russia

Spring and Labour Day will be celebrated with parades in many Russian cities.may holidays 1
In the former Soviet Union, 1 May was International Workers’ Day and was celebrated with huge parades throughout the country. However, after the collapse of communism the annual parade gave way to less political festivities. As most Russian people have several days off and get out of town to their dachas, biggest cities are becoming empty. The period from May 1 to 10 is considered the best time to visit Russia.


May 2-3

The Tournament of Saint George 12.00 – 19.45

may holidays jousting tournamentThe Tournament of Saint George will take place on the picturesque grounds of the Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve in Moscow. The tournament is a historical reconstruction of a fifteenth century style competitive tournament. The fight will involve competitions in solid lance jousting, mounted melee and ground fighting with the poleaxe.



Festival of icebreakers 10.00 – 18.00
St. Petersburg

may holidays icebreaker festivalAt the second annual festival of icebreakers three stately ships “Moskva”, “Kruzenshtern”, and “Sorokin” will steam in the mouth of the Neva River to meet with their legendary brother icebreaker “Krasin”. The four icebreakers will be moored across from each other on the English Embankment and the Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment.
A Large-scale historical and military reconstruction of the Great Patriotic War battles will be held on the Neva River. The festival will culminate with a parade of the icebreakers accompanied by a symphony orchestra and opera stars of Petersburg on May 3. During the festival, visitors will be able to get on board the icebreakers and find out more about the Russian maritime history.

May 4

Victory parade rehearsal 22.00 – 01.00

may holidays parade rehearsalMoscow Victory Day Parade is an annual parade that takes place on May 9 in Red Square in Moscow and in the central squares of most Russian cities to commemorate the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945.
Being a landmark jubilee parade honoring the 70th anniversary of the Allied victor, this year’s parade is also expected to be one of the biggest and largest to be held in Russian history.
However, only limited circle of persons is permitted to attend the parade on May 9 so a parade rehearsal is a great opportunity to see the latest advances in military industry firsthand.

Victory parade rehearsal involving infantry and mechanized columns will take place on May 4 from 22:00 to 01:00.
Military vehicles will pass through the following streets: Aviakonstruktora Mikoyan, Aviakonstruktora Sukhogo, Leningradsky Avenue, 1st Tverskaya and Tverskaya street, across the Manezhnaya and the Red Square , Vasilevsky descent and further along the Kremlin embankment through Borovitskaya square, Mokhovaya st and Vozdvizhenka st, Novy Arbat to the Triumphal Square and after all to the Khodynsky field.

May 5

Victory parade rehearsal 11.00 – 12.00

As part of the parade rehearsal military aircrafts will fly in formation over the city.

May 7

The dress rehearsal of the Victory Parade 22.00 – 01.00

May 9 

Victory day
Throughout Russia

may holidays victory day Victory day or 9 May marks the day when the German military surrendered to the USSR in Berlin in 1945. This day became the end of the Second World War (also known as the Great Patriotic War) for the USSR. Military parades are held annually throughout the country to celebrate this day.

The biggest parade is in Moscow’s Red Square. Special parties, performances and concerts are organized for veterans as well. As a sign of respect and remembrance people give red carnations to veterans in the street and wear black-and-yellow St. George ribbon on their clothes.
Russian military aircraft will be presented to the public on an fly show. More than 20 different aircraft will fly in formation over Moscow, such as the Tu-160 bomber and the Su-35 multirole fighter aircraft.
In addition 15,000 Russian troops, 1,300 foreign troops, 200 armored vehicles will take part in the parade.
26 world leaders are going to attend Moscow Victory Day parade.
The celebrations will culminate with the grandiose colorful fireworks from the different locations of Moscow.


Remember, that on May 1-10 most of public offices in most Russian cities are closed and some public transport route may be changed due to street events and parades.

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