This ribbon has become almost a “must” on Victory Day. Well, I don’t have one, does this make me a bad Russian? I don’t think so! This morning I showed Sam the parade in Red Square. We also kind of laughed at who has more hair between Putin and Medvedev! At least everyone seemed happy, in spite of the hair factor, and some other matters! I am glad that ugly ice-rink was down!
Victory Day, or May,9 is one of the most important holidays in Russia, I guess this is the equivalent of Independence Day, except for the Moscow parade is impossible to get to and you can only watch it on TV! Unlike the US, you can go anywhere, as long as there is room on the side of the street. Also, in Russia no one throws you candy! But they show you the tanks, and other latest military equipment! How cool is that! And then it all ends up on YouTube and everyone can see what Russian military has in store!
But I am not here to talk about the “boasting” and the “showing off”, we all do that every once in a while. I am here to talk to you about Saint George!
The tradition tells us that Saint George was a Roman soldier and a priest! Catholics firmly believe in his existence, or should I say the fact that he lived on this earth back in the 3rd century AD. But they have some issues believing the stories about him. Especially the one about Saint George and the dragon. According to the story a dragon or a crocodile made its nest at the spring that provided water for the city of “Silene” in Libya or the city of Lydda in the Holy Land (depending on the source). Consequently, the citizens had to dislodge the dragon from its nest for a time, to collect water. To do so, each day they offered the dragon at first a sheep, and if no sheep could be found, then a maiden had to go instead of the sheep. The victim was chosen by drawing lots. One day, this happened to be the princess. The monarch begged for her life to be spared, but to no avail. She was offered to the dragon, but there appeared Saint George on his travels. He faced the dragon, protected himself with the sign of the cross, killed the dragon, and rescued the princess. The grateful citizens abandoned their ancestral paganism and converted to Christianity.
I love the paintings of Saint George, I think my favorite one is by Vassily Kandinsky
Here are some more paintings of this Saint. Pay attention to how the dragon changes size and form!
Saint George by Elena Kudryashova
Saint George on the Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow, Russia
Saint George by Natalya Brodskaya
Saint George by Paolo Uccello
Saint George by Katya Medvedeva
Saint George on the Coat of Arms of Russia
Saint George by Bellini
Saint George on the 10 kopek coin (Russian Currency)
So whether you are wearing the ribbon today or not, what matters is the attitude, the gratitude and the respect! Happy Victory day everyone!