How VE Day is being celebrated differently this year

The UK government is encouraging people to decorate their houses to mark VE day.

(CNN)Friday marks 75 years since the end of World War II in Europe. A date that would traditionally have been commemorated with pomp and pageantry, May 8 this year will be celebrated very differently.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant that millions around the world are staying at home, so people have to find new ways of marking Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

Why is this year so important?

    As the name suggests, VE Day only marks the end of the conflict in Europe, when Nazi Germany surrendered after almost six years of war.
    However, the war against Japan rumbled on until August that year, and is marked by celebrations on August 15 for Victory over Japan (VJ) Day.
    VE Day marks the end of a war in which tens of millions of lives were lost and the course of world history changed forever.
    However, this year's celebrations take on a special significance, marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
    Workers preparing commemorate figures for VE Day are wearing protective equipment against coronavirus.

    How has Covid-19 affected celebrations?

    While members of the public thronged the streets to celebrate in 1945, social distancing measures mean that public gatherings such as veterans parades and street parties have been canceled this year.
    Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the World Health Organization (WHO), agreed with the measures.
    "There is a very important day coming for us, VE Day, and I would like to commend those governments who have made the brave decision to postpone parades, to put health at the center," he said at a briefing Thursday, the UK's PA Media news agency reported.