Maslenitsa Week is starting soon!

Maslenitsa Week is starting soon!

On February 16th, 2015 Maslenitsa Week starts in Russia. Maslenitsa is a traditional Slavic festival celebrated during the week before Fast. It marks the boundary of the winter and spring. Although the festival has absorbed a lot of Christian traditions, it still retains some pagan customs. The main heroine of the festival is the straw effigy of Lady Maslenitsa. Throughout the week all kinds of contests, strength competitions and performances take place around Lady Maslenitsa. The most common Maslenitsa food is 'bliny' (pancakes) that symbolize the sun. In the very end of the festival Lady Maslenitsa effigy is burned down which symbolized farewell to winter.

This year, the Gorky Park in Moscow organizes a plenty of activities during Maslenitsa Week. The biggest pancake fair in the city is to take place here; it will stretch all along Pushkinskaya Embankment. Pancake Fair will be the main theme of the holiday and it will also serve as a scenery for the performances, contests and games. Visitors will enjoy a two-day music festival, farce performances by actors of Brusnikin Workshop, master classes for children and adults, and – as a culmination - the burning of Maslenitsa effigy.

'Snow Cloud' by artist Olya Lesnikova will be the central art object of the festival. The cloud will symbolize the winter cold and disturbing thoughts that you have to get rid of to let the sun come out.

By the Park entrance and on Pushkinskaya Embankment visitors will see 40-meter-long 'Garmoshka' installations dedicated to customs of celebrating Maslenitsa in Russia. In the very center of fairgrounds 'place of power' will appear, which will host the International Strongman Tournament 'Moscow IceMan 2015'. Neofolk bands from all around the globe will help to wake up spring in nature and in visitors' hearts.

Photo by @madmax_chef

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