Kõlvart suggests people donate to charity instead of gathering on May 9 ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Victory Day commemorated in Tallinn on Wednesday. May 9, 2018.
Victory Day commemorated in Tallinn on Wednesday. May 9, 2018. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Mayor of Tallinn, Mihhail Kõlvart, is inviting people to stay home on May 9 rather than gather in public and donate to charity to express their respect.

Kõlvart said commemorating and honoring the fallen is not limited to celebrating only on one day each year.

He said: "It is already clear that the epidemic does not give an opportunity for public gatherings. We cannot allow people's desire to gather at the memorial to those who fell in World War II on May 9 to cause another outbreak and endanger the lives of our loved ones and other Tallinn residents."

Kõlvart said an alternative should be found in the current situation and all those who need help and support now should still be remembered.

"Everyone who considers it important to celebrate this day could do so through charity this year. Let's help and support the elderly," said Kõlvart.

In Tallinn, on May 9, people gather at The Bronze Soldier or the Monument to the Fallen in the Second World War at the Defence Forces Cemetery. The date is known as Victory Day and is celebrated in Russia, and other countries which were formerly part of the Soviet Union. It is a holiday that commemorates the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945. 

This year, mass gathering are not permitted under the restrictions imposed by the emergency situation which is due to last until May 1 to limit the spread of coronavirus. However, Martin Helme and the government said last year said it was likely these restrictions would be in place throughout May and June.

On March 25, a public candle lighting to remember the mass deportations of Estonians who were deported to Siberia in 1949 was canceled due to the emergency situation measures which ban gatherings of more than two people.

Instead, NGOs asked people were asked to light candles and place them in the windows of their homes.  

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Editor: Helen Wright

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