The Red Square has its own place in the history of Moscow. It’s no wonder that the pre-party of the 2018 FIFA World Cup has begun there.
As I write this piece, it is already June 12 and it is Russia Day. It is a public holiday and everyone is in a party mood already. And what better place than Red Square to party!
On my way to the Square, I come across a local band performing and with every song they sing, the crowd just gets more crazy. I do not understand a word, but all I understand is that music is a beautiful medium and it goes beyond boundaries, uniting all.
As I walk further down, the monument of Marshal Zhukov greets me but there is hardly anyone taking pictures at the footsteps of the statue because the party has already started near the World Cup countdown clock at the Square.
But it’s not just the Russians who are gathered here for FIFA. Football fans from around the world have descended here and have brought their own flavour to the party. The Russians outnumber for obvious reasons, but fans from Saudi Arabia match them with their voices, with the two groups coming together, singing along, waving their flags and creating a spectacle for onlookers.
In another corner, an elderly Uruguay fan charms the crowd with his distinctive appearance and from kids to older people, everyone wants to click a picture with him. Playing drums, two Uruguayan fans create a vibrant atmosphere and the crowd goes dancing and cheering. The Peruvian fans then start off, and the party continues. Standing on the other side of the countdown clock, fans from Poland keep themselves busy clicking selfies.
On the eve of Russia Day, the entire place was lit up and the cheerful atmosphere added to the celebrations. And I can guarantee you, by the time you read this one, I would’ve enjoyed another such party...
(The writer shares his travel and tour experiences, and also catches the fun and revelry during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia)