The festivities covered the whole country as a giant wave that left a feeling of joy and excellent mood for weeks. Just walking down the street filled you with happiness at the beginning of July, as all faces were lit with smiles.
The schedule of festive events appeared to be well-planned and logical. The solemn meeting and a large concert in the Palace of the Republic started the celebration on July 1. The following day a big sporting holiday took over, and on July 3, the high day, a military display and marches near the monument-stela Minsk-Hero-City took place in the Victors’ Avenue in Minsk downtown to crown the Day of the Republic.
By the time the military display started tens of thousands of Minsk citizens and visitors from all over Belarus and foreign countries had gathered near the monument. I believe this very celebration differed a lot from what we had seen in previous years. This time the festivities sounded less military, and the “peaceful component” prevailed. There must be some good reason…
The history of the holiday dates back to the final days of the Great Patriotic War. On July 3, 1944 Belarus managed to get rid of the yoke of fascism. Our granddads won the victory over fifty years ago, but it was more than that, as it was the right to live and work and create that was granted to the Belarusian people on that day. The military regiments that marched along the avenue and saluted the citizens symbolized the continuity of glorious traditions of defenders of the motherland.
As I noted earlier, the major part of the celebration was “peaceful”. The march of athletes, youth, creative teams, mothers with many children and newly-weds emphasized the deep sense of the feast of independence. The main treasure is the certainty that everything will be good tomorrow, that our happiness depends on our efforts. The hearts are filled with gratitude for the freedom that our granddads won for us in the most terrible of all wars.
“A strong and prosperous Belarus is the best monument to those who perished and those who survived,” concluded President Alexander Lukashenko.
Even after the military band stopped playing people remained in Minsk streets to take part in the day-long holiday. All parks and alleys invited Belarusians to have fun, well-organized festivities and great weather kept people “busy” until late night, when the bright flowers of fireworks painted the sky hundreds of various colors.