How Minsk celebrated 950th anniversary

How Minsk celebrated 950th anniversary

Selfies against the background of hot-air balloons became the most popular photos in Minsk this weekend.  It’s not surprising: when will you have another chance to see so many multicolored hot-air balloons in the sky of a 2-million city? This Festival of Aerostatics must have become the brightest show in the city during Minsk City Day. But there were lots of other events.

Minsk turned 950. Absolutely all the couples of young marrieds made a wish to celebrate their golden wedding in 50 years when Minsk turns 1,000.

A festive overture of three elements: water, music and light. Minsk has never seen a prologue for a celebration of City Day like this before. Singing fountains soared 10 m performing a unique dance in the sky to music. The cameras of the CTV TV channel kept up with this enchanting water spectacle and showed it on big screens.

Shining armors, fluttering gonfalons and spears were about to clash as medieval knight tournaments were held in Minsk to re-enact the entertaining history of the city.

Not many know this, but Minsk is 80 years older than Moscow! White-stoned city celebrated its anniversary the same day Minsk did.

Both knights and present-day Belarusians are full of courage. This man has been taming fire for 20 years.  A modern Superman saved nine lives. Vadim Litvinov has been named Man of the Year. He was granted this title of honor along with 13 teachers, doctors and scientists.

The savers also inflamed the audience during the international competitions on Minsk City Day. They lifted the weight of about 20 kilos to the fourth floor using only arms, skittered with a fire-hose that was full of water, manhandled a heavy manikin and so on.

While the firemen were breaking records, the Wedding March by Mendelssohn was playing in the Upper Town for so long that it could also break a record. 

Nine couples became young marrieds. It’s not only because of the beautiful date: 09.09.2017, but because the marrieds said they wanted to celebrate their golden wedding together with the 1,000 anniversary of Minsk.

Minsk citizens also tasted what real dolce vita is. How can the birthday be real without a birthday cake? Confectioners worked hard on their unique masterpiece and made 250 kg of a pure sweet bliss. Everyone who came to the Bread Festival got little piece of a gigantic Honey Cake. That was a paradise not only for those with sweet teeth: there was a huge food court of 5 square km near the Minsk Sports Palace.

Aeronauts from seven countries congratulated the city from a bird’s eye view dedicating their competitions to the anniversary. However, it wasn’t the only reason to raise eyes up to the sky.

Lots of people gathered near the Palace of Sports in the morning of September 10, the second day of celebrations. Minsk half marathon never had so many participants. 30,000 people were running across the heart of the city they love.

Alexander Shamko, Minister of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus:
I think we will keep on moving in this direction and put Minsk Half Marathon in a line with the ones in London and Berlin.

The Minsk mayor also was noticed at the opening of the half marathon. He came by a real armored car to greet the runners. It turned out that he was on his way to the celebration of Tank Crewman Day.

The celebration in Victory Park was really large-scale. Even the youngest citizens of Minsk could feel like they were tankmen.

Minsk took congratulations on its birthday from foreign guests during the whole week. They visited the grandiose celebration and understood why people love their city.