"Scarlet sails" at some point ceased to be day (or night?) of graduates of Saint Petersburg only. Today it is an event of national and even European scale: people from all over Russia come here to see the incredible dream Ship, smoothly and festively entering the waters of the Neva river.
For the first time this holiday took place in 1968 on the initiative of the City Palace of Pioneers (today it is the Palace of Youth Creativity) The name, as it is not difficult to guess, was the eponymous prose work by Alexander Green. At various times, the flagship of the holiday was:
- The first was the yacht "Metalist", the board of which during the procession was decorated with the inscription "Secret" - yes, like the ship in Green's "Scarlet Sails"
- In 1970, this role was played by the captured German schooner "Leningrad", which belonged to the main German corsair of the First World War, Felix von Luckner. This ship became the first German ship to travel around the world. "Scarlet Sails" is not his only role: it starred in many Soviet and foreign films.
- The caravel "Neva" took over the role of the main symbol of the holiday in 1971
- From 1971 to 1979 the wooden schooner Kodor became the prototype of the Secret, which bypassed 11 seas and visited the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The action lasted 11 years, until in 1979 the Leningrad Regional Committee interrupted the tradition.
In 2005 "Scarlet Sails" was revived, turning not just into a procession, but into a bright multimedia show. The date of the holiday is not chosen by chance: the date of "Sails" is always the longest white night of the season.
The role of the dream ship was taken on by 5 ships. Since 2010, the honor belongs to the Swedish sailing ship The Kronor Stockholm. This is the first Swedish ship that entered the water area of the Neva since the time of Peter the Great . “Three crowns”, as the name of the vessel is translated, is made of 3 types of trees - larch, coniferous pine and strong oak, weight - 330 tons. The total area of 16 sails is 735 square meters.
In 2019, the holiday reached such a scale that it acquired its own ship. It was the brig "Russia", the total sail area of which is 900 sq.m. The maximum speed of a modern ship is 16 knots.
Music is considered one of the main components of the holiday - both during a concert on Palace Square and during a multimedia show.
The concert on Dvortsovaya Street is a great opportunity for all graduates to relax to their favorite hits, dance, sing songs and finally take a break from the worries and studies, which in the 11th grade takes 90% of the time. School behind, USE behind - it's time to take a break! The organizers follow the fashion and preferences of young people. The invariable host of the event was Ivan Urgant, and the guests in different years were: Basta, Diana Arbenina and the Night Snipers group, Sergey Lazarev, Dima Bilan, Vera Brezhneva, the Zveri group, Polina Gagarina, Splin, Mot, Bianca, "Degrees", etc.
During the multimedia show, classical works by Russian composers are played: Isaac Dunaevsky, Anton Gryzlov, Eduard Artemiev, Sergei Prokofiev and others. Performers change:
- The Leningrad Television and Radio Orchestra conducted by Stanislav Gorkovenko
- Russian Cinematographic Orchestra conducted by Evgeny Shchegolev and Igor Ponomarenko
- Baltic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Konstantin Orbelian.
- Start - a concert on Palace Square, lasting 1-2 hours. Only graduates, their parents and teachers who have received a special invitation are allowed to enter.
- The second part is the water-pyrotechnic show itself, preparation for which begins long before day X. Every year the musical accompaniment changes, except for 2 main compositions: "The Bronze Horseman" by Reingold Glier and the overture to the movie "Captain Grant's Children" by Isaac Dunaevsky.
- The culmination is the passage of a sailboat along the Neva, accompanied by a pyrotechnic show. According to the most conservative estimates, 2 million people come to see the dream come true, another 13 million are watching live on screens.
The holiday remains a pleasant memory for a lifetime not only for graduates, but also for everyone who happens to be in the epicenter at least once. People try to see in "Scarlet Sails" a miracle embodied in life, the belief in which glimmers in each of us.