Every 9 May, Belarus and its capital city of Minsk come alive in a big way to celebrate Victory Day, drawing in numerous tourists from far and near.
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Victory Day is celebrated in Russia and in a number of other former Soviet Republics, but each country keeps the holiday in its own unique style. In Moscow’s Red Square, great pomp and flexing of military muscle are on display every 9 May. In Minsk, the mood is somber though festive as the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union on May 9th, 1945 is remembered.
Throughout Belarus, veterans laden with war medals march amid colourful balloons and Belarus flags of red, green, and white. Many also lay wreaths or flowers on the graves of loved ones who were war veterans, and there are official ceremonies that do the same.
At Victory Square in Minsk, you can attend a concert and see an impressive fireworks display. And at various locations throughout the country, tourists may wish to attend re-enactments of World War II era battles.