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Pancake Cooking Classes, Interactive Performances and Historical Co-Working: The Moscow Maslenitsa Festival

Updated on January 31, 2018

February 9 to 18, 2018 the Russian capital will host the second citywide festival of Maslenitsa, or the Pancake Week. It is one of the oldest and most festive folk holidays celebrated with lots of fun. For centuries, Russians used this week to say goodbye to the long winter as they anticipated the coming of spring.

The Moscow Maslenitsa carries on the best traditions of public festivities. The guests will get a real insight into the rich world of the Russian culture: craft workshops and cooking classes, spectacular shows and folk concerts, carnival parades, popular sports and games, and of course the main treat of Maslenitsa – pancakes. The previous festival featured 120 kinds of pancake, including red and green pancakes, pancakes topped with chocolate and parmesan, Caucasus and Asian style pancakes… this year, you should expect nothing less!

Shows, Exhibitions and Gigs

The 2018 Moscow Seasons cycle of urban street events is dedicated to theatre. Guests of the Moscow Maslenitsa will be invited to enjoy special performances.

Manezhnaya Square will host the Tsar’s Maslenitsa immersive play, where every spectator can become a participant of an outstanding show featuring folk dancing and performance by skomorokhs (‘wandering minstrels’). Guests will also be offered to take part in public games and special round dances.

Tverksaya Square will be dedicated to Maslenitsa traditions of Moscow and the Moscow Region. This venue will host daily gigs by folklore ensembles, music bands, and professional theatre performers. The entertainment program includes Maslenitsa games, traditional round dances, singing, and mummers’ plays. Viewers will have a chance to learn the original folk Maslenitsa songs.

A Tsarev Gorodok (‘Tsar’s Little Town’) will be built of timber in Kolomenskoye Park. The town’s ‘residents’ will reenact a battle between the Marksmen Troops of the Wooden Fort and the costumed Okrutniks ('winter spirits'). The entire venue, from a full-size, 10-meter high, 34-meter long/wide Little Town to characters' outfits will look truly authentic. The venue will also offer traditional Maslenitsa activities, such as a sleigh merry-go-round, sack fights, a shooting range, and sled rides (weather permitting).

An outstanding Red Shaman joint performance by two major theaters of Yakutia will close the festival on February 18. The show will feature a spectacular confrontation between good and evil in a beautiful imaginary world, and will also tell a moving story of human relationships. It will take place at Kamergersky lane.

Craft Worships and Cooking Classes

You are invited to learn goldwork and Khokhloma painting at our workshops on Tverskaya Square. And in the local ‘Bread House’, try making flour with millstones, baking bread, or frying pancakes.

On Tverskoy Boulevard, guests will get a chance to watch leather makers, armor makers, blacksmiths, potters, jewelers and chiselers at work, and try these trades as well.

On Revolution Square, anyone is welcome to learn basic decorum, or learn playing crocket and hoop rolling.

The New Arbat venues are all about carnivals in different cultures. Here you will try making carnival masks and other accessories, such as Czech bear and mare masks, German jester’s hats and rattle wands, sophisticated Venetian masks, and many more. Spectacular parades based on carnivals and masquerades of different places and epochs will be starting here at 6PM and 7PM. Feel free to join!

Sports and Activities: Maslenitsa Games and Large Skating Rink

Sports, games and activities will warm you up on a cold winter day, and lift your spirits.

On Tverskaya Square guests will be able to learn archery, play tug of war, try fighting with training swords, and play sack fighting while sitting on a log. Other games will include Sticks (ancient Russian form of hockey), Lapta (Russian bat and ball game) and Gorodki (a type of skittles).

The youngest guests are invited to visit the Children’s Maslenitsa Village on Tverskaya Square. It’s a playground with little houses, mills, and wells. Professionals will be there to help kids master traditional outdoor games.

And there will be a large skating rink of the amazing Ice Theater on Novopuskinsky Square. Skating in the heart of Moscow will be available for free! The skating rink will be open daily, 12 noon to 10 PM on workdays, and 11 AM to 10 PM on weekends.

A full list of Maslenitsa venues and events will be available soon at https://www.mos.ru/maslenitsa/

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