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Entries / Parades and Reviews

Parades and Reviews

Categories / Army. Navy/Military Ceremonies, Life, and Service

PARADES AND REVIEWS, solemn public military ceremonies, held in St. Petersburg since the 1730s. Until 1917 they were diverse and held in large numbers, occurred frequently, imparting the solemn and festive look of a military capital to the city. The key element of a parade is a solemn march of the troops; review - formation and inspection of the formations by a high ranking official (monarch, supreme commander). Until 1917 the entire rank of one or several regiments took part in parades and reviews. In the 18th century parades and reviews mostly were held on the Palace Square and the Field of Mars. The New year's parade, parades on the patron-saints' days and accession days of monarchs, and the Epiphany parade were held on a regular basis (on the ice of the Neva River). In the 19th century the number of parades and reviews increased, parades on regimental holidays, parades marking completion of guards annual field camps, parades of graduates of military academic institutions also acquired a regular character; many large city squares and streets (especially near regiment churches) became parade sites. Parades were held in commemoration of victories and victory anniversaries in wars and battles, and army returning from war. Under Emperor Pavel I watch-parades, being in fact ordinary daily changing of the guard (abolished in 1826) were held often. After the October Revolution of 1917 parades regularly took place on May 1 (until 1965) and November 7 (until 1988) on the Palace Square. Beginning with the 1990s garrison troop’s parade on the Victory Day, May 9, and Cadet Corps reviews are held annually on the eve of the City Day, on the Palace Square.

Reference: Вилинбахов Г. В. Петербургские парады // Петербургские чтения-96. СПб., 1996. С. 19-22.

G. V. Kalashnikov.

Paul (Pavel) I, Emperor

Dvortsovaya Square/Saint Petersburg, city
The Field of Mars/Saint Petersburg, city