The last May Day parade, I think, was in 1989. In 1990, a few weeks after the first free elections, we already went to the picnic organized instead of it in the City Park, for the assessment of the situation of the winning and losing parties, combined with sausages and beer. Only the thirty-year old pictures of Alexander Nankin’s just released nostalgia post have recalled again, what a magnificent event was that profane liturgy of the power, coreographed on the basis of archaic models.
“This was the most gorgeous, brightest, most coveted celebration in the Soviet Union, for several reasons. The first was the gentle spring sunshine. The second the day of rest. The third the festive ritual and parade. Red flags, mega-portraits of the leaders. But do not believe that the Soviet people were so enthusiastic about the styrofoam pigeons and the little flags set on the lapel of the suit, oh no. Simply, it was something like company events are today. The workplace collectives gathered in a joyous, festive mood, and they started to drink already early in the morning: until, during and after the parade. It was great fun. It was a feast. Of course, not everyone drank, for some the company was enough, but either way, few people knew what we were celebrating on that day, or what its deeper significance was, and so on. Rather, it was a kind of Brazilian carnival, where one district competed with the other, one factory with the other plant, in whose parade truck is more beautiful, whose banners are more shining…
Since morning you could here the marching music from the streets, and in the TV a festive screen indicated that the live broadcast from Moscow will begin shortly.
To me, as a schoolboy, from the seventies the question was whether to watch the parade of Moscow in the TV, or to go out on the main street, and take delight in the wonderful parade of the local factories. During the broadcasting of the parade usually the TV won, and when it was over, the balance tilted toward the street. The question was definitively decided only when, from the 80s, I and my friends became active alcohol consumers. On the street well-dressed women and schoolgirls, at every corner tables where we could drink a glass of wine with melted cheese. Every good thing was condensed in that day… I think nowadays only the North Korean comrades can understand this feeling :)”
The processionists selfying with the TV from about 1'11" merit special attention.