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City Celebrates Maslenitsa

Published: February 26, 2014 (Issue # 1799)



  • Chicken, honey, caviar...when it comes to blini fillings, the options are limited by only your imagination!
    Photo: Sergei Kukota / Flickr

Maslenitsa, the weeklong celebration of Shrovetide leading up to the start of Lent in the Eastern Orthodox calendar, began this year on Feb. 24 and will last until Sunday, Mar. 2. Numerous events are scheduled throughout the city, culminating in the traditional burning of straw-filled effigies on Sunday.

Traditionally blini, which symbolize the sun, are cooked and eaten throughout the week to mark the end of winter.

Related: Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring

This year, the fourth International Festival of Traditional Culture, which is dedicated to Maslenitsa, will be held on Yelagin Island at the Kirov Central Park of Culture on Mar. 1 and 2. The program is expected to last from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature performances by folk music groups from different Russian cities and offer a traditional crafts fair.

The Peterhof Museum Reserve in the suburb of Petrodvorets will hold its own Maslenitsa celebrations on that towns Palace Square beginning at 1 p.m. on Mar. 1. The lineup includes theater performances, interactive games, contests, fireworks and, of course, pancakes.

The Babushkina Park of Culture will host celebrations on Mar. 1 and 2 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a fire show and the launching of Chinese paper lanterns from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Mar. 2.

As Maslenitsa is particularly beloved by Russia children, many of the citys museums and parks have created thematic festival programs for them.

Skazkin Dom (Fairy Tale House), one of St. Petersburgs childrens museums, is organizing daily programs throughout the festival week. A similar program is being held for schoolchildren on Yelagin Island at the Kirov Central Park of Culture which will introduce the history of the celebration every day at 10 a.m.

Interactive excursions are being held all week long at the Benua Family Museum, focusing on the traditional celebrations of the holiday among the Russian nobility. Excursions are offered daily, starting at 11 a.m. The museum will also host an exhibition of childrens drawings dedicated to Maslenitsa.

The Mariinsky Theater is also getting in on the act with a weeklong celebration of the holiday with a focus on drumming. Percussion for Maslenitsa includes master classes, jazz performances and an 80-minute tour around the world through rhythm.

One of the largest celebrations of Maslenitsa in Russia is held in the nearby city of Pskov. Located about 300 kilometers south of St. Petersburg, Pskov is the countrys official center of Maslenitsa celebrations.

This year Pskovs All-Russia Maslenitsa Festival will present a 10-meter-high effigy to be burned on Mar. 2, according to the Pskov Information Agency.

Maslenitsa is celebrated 56 days before Easter and normally falls in the second half of February or early March. The last day of the weeklong celebrations is also called Forgiveness Sunday, when people receive the opportunity to ask for forgiveness for past offenses.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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