July 3: What Is It & What to Expect?
Brief historical background and this year’s program – what do you need to know about July 3 celebrations.
What does Belarus celebrate on the 3rd of July?
July 3 is the Independence Day (or the Day of the Republic) and it is the most important state holiday in the country. On the July 3, 1944 Minsk was liberated from nazis during WWII.
But wait, didn’t Belarus gain independence when the USSR collapsed?
That’s true, it may get a little confusing. Formally, Belarus became an independent country on December 26, 1991, when the Soviet Union was dissolved.
But since 1991, the Independence Day was celebrated on July 27, the day of the Declaration of Sovereignty of Belarus. The decision to celebrate Independence Day on July 3 was made during a referendum in 1996.
There is also The Day of Freedom on March 25. Democratic community celebrates it as the main holiday honoring the declaration of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in 1918. In 2017 the demonstration was roughly broken up by authorities, but this year there was held a massive peaceful festival.
What does the July 3 celebration usually look like?
The main components of a classical July 3rd celebration in Minsk are military parade, public festivities, outdoor concerts and fireworks.
The parade is supposed to prove our security, power and sovereignty. There one can see intimidating machinery, solemn marches, and besides that, stuff that may seem random, but is supposed to prove our prosperity and impressive industrial achievements.
Simple and sincere public festivities and markets take place all around the city. They bring different people together and give a chance to become a part of something bigger. You will probably won’t hear any of our favorite Belarusian musicians, but definitely will be able to feel a slightly nostalgic vibe, which is hard for us to explain.
Late in the evening all the national merriment spirals into a chorus singing the anthem and ends with a magnificent fireworks show.
What is going on this year?
The parade at Praspiekt Mašerava by the Minsk Hero-City monument.
Concert of local pop music “Belarus is the only motherland” at the same location.
Fireworks at 6 different locations: Praspiekt Pieramožcaŭ, Minsk-1 Airport, Uručča, Drazdy, Navinki, Čyžoŭka.
All day long
Public festivities at every corner (for example, by the Sports Palace).
How to escape from all this glory?
If you don’t feel like noisy parties and just want to chill somewhere in the woods, we remind you that you can find a whole bunch of city escape ideas in our Go to Belarus project. For example, head for Biełaviežskaja Pušča, or go practise birdwatching, or explore mysterious abandoned mansions all around the country.
Photo by palasatka