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Maslenitsa, the Sun Festival

Maslenitsa is a traditional Russian festival, a mix of pagan beliefs and Christian traditions, which marks the end of winter. It is celebrated during the last week before Great Lent, eighth week before Eastern Orthodox Paskha (Easter).

Maslenitsa is also known as Pancake Week. Pancakes (rus: Блины [Blini]) are usually baked in quantities and are shared among friends and family. Due to their form and colour blini symbolize the sun and warmth of coming spring. Maslenitsa is celebrated annually and lasts for one week.

 maslenitsaVenues: The main festivities will take place in Moscow at Kuznetsky Most, Nikolskaya and Arbat streets, Klimentovsky and Kamergersky side streets, as well as the Patriarch’s Ponds and Sadovniki Park.
Event cost: Free
Date: 16-22 February 2015



The festival is celebrated throughout the country with the biggest events held in Moscow. During Pancake Week, numerous celebrations take place around the city: street festivals and fairs, sleigh riding, snowball fights, ice-skating, and more. Moscow citizens and visitors to the city will enjoy hot pancakes served with butter and assorted toppings along with medovukha, an alcoholic honey-based drink. The burning of the effigy carnival is the traditional culmination of the festival.

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