International Women's Day. A bit weird to witness it here, considering Russian history. After all, demonstrations marking International Women's Day were one of the key moments which led to the 1917 Russian Revolution. Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to continue it, and in the Soviet period the day used to honour women mainly as workers, joining together people across the Eastern and socialist bloc.
These days, though, March 8th is, to quote Irina Lovanova "associated with men's adoration of women's magnetic charm, tenderness, caring loyalty and blooming beauty. In Russia all living men (including foreigners) are duty bound to express their warm feelings to all living women, with no exceptions. Failure could result in a sudden reduction of life expectancy." Which means it is a day for giving flowers. The streets are full of men buying flowers and women receiving them; I saw mainly tulips, but also mimosa. And yes, it makes me a bit depressed.