Maslenitsa Festival - St Petes & Moscow

Maslenitsa Festival - St Petes & Moscow

What better way to end off the winter and welcome summer (and Orthodox Lent) than to stuff yourself silly with pancakes? Maslenitsa means ‘butter’, a key ingredient in bliny (pancakes), and Maslenitsa festival is the last remaining pagan festival in the mainstream Russian festival calendar.

Along with loads of pancakes, the festival features horse-drawn sledges, clowns, live music and fireworks, making it one of the most celebratory festivals around. Moscow has seen something of a Maslenitsa revival in recent years: head to ‘Maslenitsa town’ in Vassilyevsky Spusk near Red Square. Otherwise if you’re in St. Petersburg, head to the Mariinsky Theatre for Maslenitsa celebrations. Watch out though – even though it’s spring-time it’s still really cold, with temperatures hovering around the -10 degree Celsius mark. Nippy!

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