Do you still need convincing that Russian blini are the world’s foremost form of pancake? You will have ample opportunity to sample some fantastic flapjacks during a holiday that honors these sweet and savory snacks. Moscow, not a city to let holidays pass uncelebrated, is not going to let this Maslenitsa go by without ensuring you’ve had at least a few dozen.
Maslenitsa is the last week before the strict Orthodox Lent begins, when everyone goes a bit crazy for the cream, milk, eggs, cheese and butter they won’t see for 40 days. As part of “Moscow Seasons,” the city is organizing spaces all over the city where you can celebrate. Here is a list of where you’ll want to be this Maslenitsa.
Costume parades on Novy Arbat
Masquerade on Moscow’s grand canal
Maslenitsa is, like its cousins Carnival and Mardi Gras, a holiday about being outside and going a little bit wild, and it would not be complete without a costume parade. On Novy Arbat, for ten straight days, you’ll get to see people reveling not just in traditional Russian costumes, but also in Venetian, Hungarian, Dutch, and German garb.
13 Ulitsa Novy Arbat. Metro Arbatskaya. Feb. 13-18, 6-7 p.m.
The Tsar’s Maslenitsa
Take part in folk traditions
Enjoy Maslenitsa like your babushka’s babushka with traditional dancing and folk music. Step up to try your hand peasant games. Chow down on blini. Part immersive show and part just plain fun, Manege Square is the place to be for a full Maslenitsa experience.
Manege Square. Metro Okhotny Ryad. Feb. 13-18, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Blini from a Blacksmith
Forge your own souvenir blin
Maslenitsa can make a blini fan out of even the most haughty gourmand, and at the end of this week, you’ll want to have something permanent to remind you of your everlasting love for these flat treats. So put on safety goggles and an apron, and forge your own customized blin with a real blacksmith. And, yes, you can keep it.
Manege Square, Ploshchad Revolyutsii, Tverskoy Bulvar (between Yesenin and Timiryazev monuments), 41 Profsoyuznaya ulitsa
Feb. 13-18, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Maslenitsa at Kolomenskoye
Celebrate at one of Moscow’s most famous parks
If celebrating a folk holiday in the city center seems a bit artificial to you, why not make your way out to one of Moscow’s most beautiful and historic parks? Here you will find dancing, singing, games and also one tradition that you won’t be able to find in Moscow’s more populated areas. To mark the end of Maslenitsa, celebrate as giant effigy is burnt.
Kolomenskoye. Metro Kolomenskoye. Feb. 18, 12 — 5 p.m.
Golden Mask on Maslenitsa
Performances from Russia’s republics
National theaters from the Russian republics of Chuvashia, Mari El, and Yakutia will be performing on three stages around the city. You will have the chance to see dance, concerts, opera, and puppet theater. One event not to miss is a performance of Olonkho, a UNESCO recognized traditional Yakut form of epic poetry, which is part recited, part sung.
2 Kamergersky Pereulok, Ploshchad Revolyutsii, 41 Profsoyuznaya Ulitsa
Feb 13-18, 3 — 6 p.m.
For more detailed information in Russian, see www.mos.ru/city/festivals/seasons/maslenitsa/