August 03, 2021

Fountain Frolicking Forbidden



Fountain Frolicking Forbidden
Human pyramids? Guys firing machine guns? Russians? Count us in. Vitaly V. Kuzmin, Wikimedia Commons

On July 30, the city government of St. Petersburg threatened to rain on veterans' parades by shutting off fountains on Russian Airborne Forces Day this year, a violation of one of the holiday's most iconic traditions.

The city has reportedly declined to host any large festivities, and has urged citizens to avoid swimming in fountains, as water is not sanitary and fooling around in fountains can cause injury. Should inebriated partiers not heed the directions, the city threatened to turn off the water, taking away much of the fun.

The annual August 2 holiday celebrates the creation of the Russian Airborne Forces (Paratroopers), or VDV. 2021 marked 91 years of Russians jumping from planes for combat purposes.

Traditionally, airborne troopers both active and retired can be seen roaming throughout cities in their ubiquitous and iconic blue-and-white telnyashkas and blue berets, drinking vodka, getting into brawls, and swimming in fountains. This often ends in injury and bruised veterans (and passersby), but hey, it's tradition, and we can't say it doesn't look fun.

VDV Day wouldn't be VDV Day without any fountains.

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