May 9th, Victory Day, is the day that Kazakhstan and many other former Soviet countries celebrate the surrender of Nazi forces to Soviet forces in 1945. Like Veterans'
Day in the United States, Victory Day is an occasion to recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the men and women of the armed forces.
In Almaty the heart of the celebration is at Panfilov park. The various memorials are covered in red roses by people paying their respects to the heroes of the war. Street performers, ringed by onlookers, perform music and dance throughout the park. Among the performers, a youth choir dressed uniforms sings patriotic songs.
While the day is unmistakeably about the armed forces, the spirit in Panfilov Park is decidedly festive. A little train weaves its way among the crowds and picnickers spread their blankets and feasts on the grass among the trees. Young people dress up in military uniforms and pose for photos with passersby and everywhere you look there are flowers, Flags, balloons, and orange and black striped ribbons.
Next Up: Singing Sand Dunes