Maslenitsa is a time of blinis and parties galore — the last week of food and drink before the strict Lenten fast begins. It's also time for the slightly bizarre tradition of burning a straw effigy of winter to welcome in spring. Be it in a restaurant, a park or one of Moscow's squares, here's where you can get into the spirit this weekend.
Food fair and an interactive effigy
VDNKh's Maslenitsa market will be foodie paradise with waffles, pancakes, mulled wine and more. An effigy decorated to look like a folk toy will be activated by the heat of human hands to light up and play music.
121 Prospekt Mira, Metro VDNKh
Until March 13
Suprematist art meets Maslenitsa
Krasnaya Presnya is combining traditional Maslenitsa with 20th-century Suprematist art this weekend. The park will be decorated with bright geometric shapes and visitors can take photos in front of Malevich and Kandinsky prints.
5 Ulitsa Mantulinskaya, Metro Vystavochnaya
Maslenitsa with the White Rabbit family
Innovative, upscale blinis
White Rabbit restaurants — including the eponymous White Rabbit, Mushrooms, and Selfie — will be serving up a batter-laden menu for Maslenitsa with treats like authentic boyar-style pancakes made from buckwheat flour and desert blinis laden with caramel butter.
+7 (495) 663 3999
3 Smolenskaya Ploshchad, floor 16. Metro Smolenskaya
City center light show
Every evening this week through Sunday Manege Square will host a dazzling light show as an extension of the "Circle of Light" festival. The facade of the Manege Exhibition Hall will transform to show ice melting and flowers blooming.
Metro Okhotny Ryad, Alexandrovsky Sad
Until March 13
Gorky Park and Muzeon Arts Park
Bears and an enormous blini fair
Gorky Park and the Muzeon Arts Park will be hosting an enormous Maslenitsa market offering blinis and souvenirs. Hungarian artist Gabor Szoke has been commissioned to make a unique Maslenitsa effigy — a giant bear and den.
9 Krymsky Val. Metro Park Kultury, Oktyabrskaya
March 12-13. Burning of the effigy March 13, at 8:20 p.m.
Craft workshops and festival atmosphere
Get hands-on by helping to make the Maslenitsa doll at Park Pobedy this weekend. Live music from singer Yuta and the Brevis Brass Band along with rides and food stands will help get you in the carnival spirit.
Kutozovsky Prospekt, Metro Park Pobedy
March 12. From 1 p.m.
Museum of Moscow
Learn about the origins of Maslenitsa
Head to the Museum of Moscow for entertainers, dancers and traditional folk fun. Children can also learn about Maslenitsa through a variety of interactive workshops.
2 Zubovksy Bulvar, Metro Park Kultury
March 13. 12-3 p.m.
Folk games and live music
Sokolniki has folk dancing, traditional games and skits by performers this weekend. A Maslenitsa market, cooking master classes and music from Nike Borzov and the group «Pizza» on Saturday night add to the fun.
Sokolnichesky Val. Metro Sokolniki
Blinis from a gastronomic institution
Sample the Maslenitsa menu at Cafe Pushkin this weekend. From the sturgeon caviar blini (9,950 rubles) to the more affordable blinis with jam or honey (from 335 rubles), there's something for every taste and wallet.
+7 (495) 739 0033
26A Tverskoi Bulvar, Metro Tverskaya, Pushkinskaya, Chekhovskaya