18 March 2007
St. Patrick's Day
Who would have guessed that Moscow throws a St. Patrick's Day celebration, complete with a parade down Noviy Arbat?
As is the case with all parades in Russia, security was tight:
I'm sure they were worried about overly exuberant displays of Irish nationalism, as the Irish make up Rusisa's second-largest ethnic minority following the Tatars (that's not really true, second place goes to the Ukrainians. I'm not really sure there are any Irish in Russia). Or perhaps they were worried about violent clashes between Catholics and Protestants.
As with any event in Russia, the parade was not without irony: I wondered whether I was the only one amused by the fact that all the bagpipe & drum corps marching down the street were playing "Scotland the Brave." It's a good thing there are no Irish nationalists in Moscow, as I'm sure they would have been furious...
Still, it was wonderful to see so many people outside on a beautiful sunny day having a good time (the sun came out from behind the clouds after I took my pictures). Unlike most official parades in Moscow - those that rightly commemorate somber events like the end of WWII - this one was simply an expression of carefree joy.
Hopefully Russia will see more of these types of parades in the future. They're good for the soul, I think.
Posted by Rubashov at 5:44 PM