On August 2, Russian paratroopers traditionally celebrate their professional holiday, Airborne Forces Day, also known as Paratroopers’ Day, RIA Tomsk reports.
The history of the holiday begins on August 2, 1930, when, at the exercises of the Air Force of the Moscow Military District near Voronezh, for the first time a landing unit of 12 people was dropped from a TB-3 bomber by parachutes.
In Russia, paratroopers are called “blue berets” and “winged infantry”, and when asked, “What is your motto?” Russian paratroopers usually answer, “Nobody but us!”. During the celebrations of their holiday, paratroopers in Russia arrange demonstrations, concerts, and charity events in many cities. Swimming in fountains became one of the main traditions of the holiday.
Airborne Forces Day in Russia coincided with another holiday, Elijah Day. The paratroopers consider Elijah the prophet their patron, assuming that he clears the sky for them for a successful jump, so washing with spring water on August 2 is considered a protection against failure. After the Great Patriotic War, the tradition of washing was transformed into a complete immersion in water and then changed to bathing in fountains, so now, in many cities of the country fountains are turned off on this day.