What to do on Victory Day in Moscow

Victory Day fireworks over the Moskva river
Victory Day fireworks over the Moskva river

There are lots of days when it’s fun to live in Moscow. Moscow is an incredibly unique and vibrant city and there is always something fun to see and do. One of the very best days to be in Moscow is Victory Day on May 9th. If you are planning a trip to Russia, May would be a fabulous month to visit. Spring will have finally hit Moscow in May and hints of summer are just around the corner then. Spring and summer in Moscow are absolutely beautiful and some of the best months to be in the city.

Victory Day Parade


Victory Day on May 9th celebrates the former Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriot War back in 1945. Russians love to celebrate everything and they especially love celebrating days such as this. If you want a look at the pomp and circumstance of the Russian military then this day will be a grand display for you to attend. You will see former and current military members decked out in all their military uniforms and regalia for miles on end. Red Square is the place to be, but the downtown streets around Red Square will also be good places to watch the parade, should you be unable to get close to Red Square.

The young, current military members march in their uniforms. Unseen in this picture are all the older retired military who show up in their uniforms and are given small gifts by the children in attendance.
Rows and rows of military men march while surrounded on both sides by crowds of onlookers.

Victory Day Parade with children

Planes fly by and draw the Russian flag in the sky

While the parade is mostly different military platoons marching, marching, marching, there are also several different flyovers that will make the day more fun for younger children. The parade is several hours long, and probably longer than most children can handle, if you are traveling with children. But the flyovers should interest them once they’ve gotten bored with all the parade marching. Be sure to bring snacks and water along as it will be hard to leave the area to go get some if they start to get hungry.

I don’t know all the different kinds of airplanes but I enjoyed seeing, hearing and feeling them rumble overhead.
Military men and one of the many flyovers near the Moskva river

Victory Day Fireworks

Fireworks reflect in the Moskva river and remind the onlookers of the Great Patriotic War

After a full morning of festivities and parades, the day concludes with a fun display of fireworks over the Moskva river. Head to Sparrow Hills and find a seat along the river or along the bridge for great views of the display.  Be warned that the metro will be jam packed with other fireworks attendees, as will the banks of the river. Unless you’ve been to Tokyo during rush hour, you will probably have never in your life seen a crush of people converging on a metro as you will after a fireworks display on May 9th. But squeezing in among the crowd of people is all part of the Moscow experience and is sure to make it one you will remember for a long time to come.


The crush of people trying to converge on the Sparrow Hills metro after the fireworks

I love all festive events in Moscow. Moscow knows how to put on a good show. If you want to see Russia at her patriotic best, the Victory Day parade on the 9th of May is not to be missed!