Victory! Celebrating Victory Day in Bishkek.

Victory Day celebrations in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan
Posted by on May 8, 2015

Celebrating Victory Day in Bishkek.

I’m currently out of the country, missing this year’s Victory Day celebrations in Kyrgyzstan. This is a big year, though, the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and likely the last big anniversary that will see a significant number of veterans of the fighting able to take part in the ceremonies in person. If you’re in a country that celebrates Victory Day, in the weeks leading up to May 9th make sure to seek out celebrations of this historic anniversary.

If you had to guess, what would you say was the best way to celebrate Great Patriotic War Against Fascism Victory Day?

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Day of Victory!

Bread and Circuses, of course!

Festival Games

Crowds in Ala-too Sqaure.

If you find yourself not in the ancient Roman empire, though, maybe the former Soviet Union will do?

Competition to be Most Kyrgyz

And ‘Most Kyrgyz Man’ goes to….

In Kyrgyzstan, celebrations for many public holidays take the form of some sort of public parade (though sadly, I missed the military parade on this one!), traditional horse games (my favorite!), and a lot of traditional clothes on the streets of the capitol.

Dude's Got Game

Street Games on the day of victory. This one involved using what appeared to be knuckle bones to knock money out of the central circle and into your own pocket. Don’t worry, Manas was keeping watch to make sure everything was above board.

My personal preference is always for the traditional horse games, but walking the streets of Bishkek on days like these is itself an adventure. The best part about the Victory Day celebrations, however, was actually several days later at the Philharmonia.

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Victory in Concert at the Philharmonia.

I have no idea what the Kyrgyz People’s Ensemble was singing about, but I’m pretty sure from the uniforms and heavy useage of red lighting that it had something to do with the war.

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Getting Down with their Bad Selves.

They sang, they danced, there was even a bit of slapstick comedy.

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Not Impressed.

In the end, it was spectacular.

Spectating the Spectacle

Nosebleed seats.

Yet another reason to visit Kyrgyzstan: the best musical experience $4 can buy.

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Russian Hardness.

Post-show pose.

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4 Responses to Victory! Celebrating Victory Day in Bishkek.


    Remarkable! Got to share this 😉

  2. Nikita

    Their outfits are amazing! So bright and colorful.

    • Stephen

      Right?! It feels so anachronistic to me, yet still looks so visually appealing at the same time. I really enjoying trying to catch these shows in Bishkek anytime I can.

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