For anyone who loves a big sabre-rattling parade, Red Square is the place.



EACH NOVEMBER, soldiers parade in vintage Soviet army uniforms, including snow-white winter camouflage, through Moscow’s Red Square.

It’s a military ceremony, with phalanxes of troops and vintage tanks, to commemorate Red Army soldiers who marched through the square, on Nov. 7, 1941, into the bloody maw of World War II. Today’s Russian troops strut to military bands and applause from bystanders, past the iconic domes of the 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral.

European countries, decimated by two world wars in the 20th century, have for decades mounted military parades to mark battle anniversaries. While parades now are smaller in some Western European countries, as time passes and economic woes mount, they’re still prevalent in Russia, especially each November and in May (to mark the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945).

For anyone who loves a big sabre-rattling parade, Red Square is the place. With its searing history of political revolutions, wars and the lingering legacy of the Cold War, Russia still massively parades its military might.

Kristin R. Jackson is The Seattle Times NWTraveler editor. Contact her at kjackson@seattletimes.com.