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What is Máslenitsa?

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Carnival in Russia, also known as Maslenitsa, is a celebration that takes place every year before Orthodox Lent. Children and adults celebrate the holiday with great excitement, as it represents the farewell or end of winter and opens the way to spring.

The festival consists of agreat celebration of a full week where a wide range of activities, games, live music and various competitions take place. Also, throughout the week bliní is consumed.

 

 

One of the peculiarities of the holidays is that each day of the week has atheme or purpose. The highlight of the festivities is on Sunday, when people congregate in the towns and cities and perform theclosing ritual. During the day a doll is burned, more specifically an efigie, which represents winter. This ceremony puts an end to the festivities to make way for spring and leave winter behind.

 

The Maslenitsa is a celebration in Russia to say goodbye to winter and greet spring

The Maslenitsa is a celebration in Russia to say goodbye to winter and greet spring

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When is the Maslenitsa[/h2>?

Máslenitsa takes place one week before Great Lent or Orthodox Lent. Thefestivities take place from approximately March 8 to March 14.

 

 

History of Máslenitsa

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The origin of Máslenitsa is not entirely clear, as there are a couple of discussions about when and how these festivities first originated in Russia. Some historians emphasize that the festivities were dedicated to Volos, a god who was considered a beast. During the feasts people had to perform certainrituals and ceremonies, among them making the pancakes.

On the other hand, some consider that during the pre-Christian era the celebrations only announced and commemorated thespring equinox which for many people marked thebeginning of the new year. In addition, people performed the farewell rites of winter and thewelcoming of spring. Subsequently, the festivities were supplanted by theOrthodox celebrations, taking place before Orthodox Lent.

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In the days of yore, feasts were related to the new year and people took the opportunity to pay tribute to their ancestors and were heldpurification ceremonies. Today feasts are held with the simple desire to celebrate and eat before Great Lent. However, the last day of the festivities is related toforgiveness, accompanied with the burning of the winter effigy..

 

Where is the Maslenitsa

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The festivities are held in some countries of the Slavic peoples. However, it is in Russia that it is most strongly celebrated.

 

During the whole week of Máslenitsa pancakes are eaten

During the whole week of Máslenitsa pancakes are eaten

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How is Máslenitsa celebrated

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During the week a large number of activities take place, some of these are used tofraternize with village residents, strengthen family ties and eat pancakes or blini. The Maslenitsa has the particularity that each day has a different theme and people carry out different activities each day.

 

Meat Sunday

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The day represents the last opportunity people have to eat meat. Usually the family is called together to celebrate and eat together.

 

Monday or Welcome

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Traditionally, housewives dedicated this day tocooking bliní, the main dish of the festivities.

 

Tuesday

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It is tradition that during this day men and women congregate in order to seek a wife or husband.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country I recommend this guide:.

Wednesday

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During this day usually mothers-in-law invite sons-in-law to eat bliní.

 

 

Thursday

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This day was said togames with neighbors, friends and family. People play with snow orbuild forts of wood and snow. In addition, many people take the opportunity to celebrate dances and folk singing. Large cities organize large concerts and different fairs.

One particular game consists of climbing up a wooden pole to take some gift found at the top. Usually the poles are covered with water or snow, making it difficult to climb to the top.

 

Friday

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During Fridays something similar to Wednesdays occurs, only the sons-in-law invite their mothers-in-law to eat bliní.

On the last day of the festivities, the burning of the winter effigy is celebrated, welcoming spring.

 

On the last day of Máslenitsa a winter effigy is burned to make way for spring

On the last day of Máslenitsa a winter effigy is burned to make way for spring

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Tips for going to the Maslenitsa

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If you wish to attend Máslenitsa, we recommend planning your trip in advance, making an itinerary with activities and reserving your accommodation in advance.

Also, if you decide to attend, be sure to pack a warm coat, as temperatures stay below 5 degrees Celsius.

 

During the Máslenitsa people celebrate with dancing and music

During the Máslenitsa people celebrate with dancing and music

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What to eat at the Maslenitsa

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Pancakes or bliní are the traditional food of Máslenitsa

Pancakes or bliní are the traditional food of Máslenitsa

 

During the holidays it is tradition to eat bliní, a pancake that is served with butter, it can be accompanied with jams, cheese or chocolate. Also, you can try the Varenye, a kind of whole fruit preserve, although it can also contain nuts, vegetables or flowers. It is usually used to accompany the bliní.

 

Varenye is a fruit preserve with which blinis are accompanied

Varenye is a fruit preserve with which blinis are accompanied

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Travel Insurance

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From Carnavalesdelmundo.org we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurances. Read more information about all insurance offers here:

 

 

What to see and do inside the Maslenitsa

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When celebrating Maslenitsa you can take part in the different activities and games that take place during the festivities. In addition, throughout the week you have the opportunity to eat bliní till you drop.

If you are in the main cities of the country, you can attend the different musical presentations and concerts that are organized during the dates.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world

 

What to see and do outside the Maslenitsa

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The Máslenitsa is celebrated all over the country, so you can celebrate it in any corner of the country. We offer you some of the most important attractions in the country to get you excited and decide to visit Russia to celebrate Carnival.

 

St. Isaac’s Cathedral

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A temple that is located in St. Petersburg. The cathedral was erected during the 19th century. Inside the cathedral is of decorated with Russian, Italian and French marble floor and the columns are covered with lapis lazuli.

 

Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood

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It is a religious temple located in St. Petersburg. Its construction dates from 1883 and 1907. Inside the church is decorated with hundreds of mosaics.

 

Lake Baikal

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It is a lake located in Siberia. It is considered one of the deepest freshwater lakes in the world. The lake has been listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

 

Red Square

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It is one of the most important squares in the country, has 23,000 square meters of surface and is considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

 

Moscow Kremlin

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The Kremlin constitutes a series of both civil and religious buildings.  Also, a large number of administrative buildings, museums and monuments are located in the vicinity of the Kremlin.

 

Hermitage Museum

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It is a museum that was opened in 1764. It currently has almost 3 million visitors per year and within its facilities are exhibits of art, jewelry and weapons.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your ticket in advance through Tiquets: .

Book tickets in the city you are visiting

 

Safety at the Maslenitsa

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Russia’s big cities as safe as any other city in Europe.

We recommend you to implement basic safety measures during your visit and keep your items in a safe place, especially if you are heading to a busy place. Also, we recommend the following products to keep your belongings safe:

 

 

Weather in Máslenitsa

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During the holidays the weather is quite cold, with temperatures ranging from -4 to 2 degrees Celsius.

 

People perform different activities during Máslenitsa such as games and contests

People perform different activities during Máslenitsa such as games and contests

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How to get to the Máslenitsa

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How to get there by plane

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Russia has more than 2,700 airports; however, the main ones are: Moscow-Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow-Domodedovo International Airport, Moscow-Vnukovo International Airport and Pulkovo-St. Petersburg Airport.

We recommend buying airline tickets through Kiwi.com or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review Kiwi.com..

 

How to get there by sea

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Currently Russia has entrances to the Sea of Azov, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, some connections to the Arctic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

 

How to get there by train

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Russia is connected through the railway system with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, China, Mongolia and North Korea.

 

How to get there by metro

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Russia has a large metro system. Some major stations are: Moscow Metro with 132 lines and 207 stations, St. Petersburg Metro with 5 lines and 69 stations, Novosibirsk Metro with 2 lines and 13 stations and Nizhny Novgorod Metro with 2 lines and 14 stations.

 

How to get there by bus

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There are bus stations connecting to Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland and even Germany.

 

How to get there by car

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If you find yourself in Russia, you can visit several cities via the road and highway network. However, remember that Russia is a country of large proportions, so getting from one city to another can take hours and will even make you consume a lot of fuel. If possible, use other means of transportation such as trains or planes.

 

Where to stay in the Máslenitsa

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Booking.com

 

The most visited cities in Russia are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad and Ekaterinburg. All of these have a large network of accommodations that will make you feel at home.

Below, we offer you some options to stay in Moscow.

 

AZIMUT Hotel Smolenskaya Moscow

4-star hotel 3.7 km from the city center. Rooms feature TV, air conditioning and private bathroom. The hotel has a gym, spa, bar, parking and free wifi.

 

Radisson Collection Hotel Moscow

4 star hotel 3.2 km from the center of Moscow. The rooms feature a TV, a panoramic view and a seating area. In addition, the hotel has a psychine, spa, bar, parking and free wifi.

 

Radisson Blu Olympiyskiy Hotel

5-star hotel 3.7 km from the city center. Rooms feature tea and coffee making facilities, panoramic view and private bathroom. The hotel offers gym, bar, parking and free Wi-Fi.

We recommend using Booking. com to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:

 

Thank you for reading

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