MOSCOW, June 12 /ITAR-TASS/. Russians mark this country’s main state holiday, the Day of Russia, on Thursday. The holiday reminds of the historic declaration of sovereignty that was adopted 24 years ago on this day.
The document that laid the basis of Russia’s new statehood was adopted on June 12, 1990, when Russia was a republic within the former Soviet Union. This day was put on the list of memorable dates in 1992. The holiday gained its official status in 1994 when it was declared to be a day-off.
President Vladimir Putin will present State Prizes for 2013 to outstanding citizens of the country on Thursday. At the close of the presentation ceremony, a ceremonial reception will be given in the Kremlin. A concert is to be given in the Red Square in the evening. Such concerts have become a tradition on this day. This year, it will feature sports motives with elements of Russian folklore. The audience is draw visual parallels between the victory of Russia’s national team at the Winter Games in Sochi, reunification with Crimea and the forthcoming FIFA World Cup. The topic of the Year of Russian Culture will be also highlighted.
Along with the events in the Red Square, about 250 festival events will be organized in Moscow, including the Moscow press festival on Poklonnaya Hill and the Kremlin Mile running event.
Many Russian cities have developed their own traditions of celebrating this holiday. Thus, a choir of thousands of singers will perform in Yekaterinburg and a mass swimming run across the Volga River will be held in Cheboksary. In the Altai Territory that has been hit by unprecedented floods, a fundraising campaign will be organized to help the flood victims. It will be held within the framework of the interregional festival of traditional culture.
Crimea, Russia’s newly formed constituent entity, plans organize big celebrations of this holiday. Yalta will host an international festival of church music, a carnival march will take place in Alushta, concerts will be organized in Sudak, Kerch, and Bakhchisarai. Apart from that, the Five Stars contest of young singers will he be held in Yalta.
According to sociologists, the overwhelming majority of Russians are confident that gaining independence was good for Russia. As many as 71% of Russians share this point of view, the Levada-Centre polling agency say. And only each fifth say that this holiday is just another day-off.