Maslenitsa is a true Russian holiday that is preserved from the heathen times. During seven days Moscow jingle with lots of bells, sing with Russian accordions and welcome with colorful dresses. All Russian people are sincerely happy to see the long severe winter off and the long-awaited spring in.
The trade rows in the town of Maslenitsa are full with various sweets. There're lots of pot-bellied samovars with velvet tea, tasty barankas, stores with nuts and honey-cakes never simple but figured and with inscriptions like "Who I love I give it to" or "The present from the beloved is more precious than gold". Here are pickles, fish and caviar - choose and eat till you are full!
But the most important thing is pancake! Pancake is the symbol of the sun. It is as round and hot as the sun. Pancakes are served very hot with butter and sourcream, caviar, mushrooms or sturgeon - for all tastes!
Where could you ride in painted sledge the way it takes your breath away? And what about sliding from a high icy slope or entertain yourself in big carousels? Maslenitsa will sing and dance with you in a ring - you will dip into the atmosphere of loose fun, dancing to provoking chastooshkas. Our buffoons and Punch-and-Judy shows will make you laugh untill you cry. And those, who don't want to be only visitors in this street theater, can take part in the masquerade, try a fancy dress or wrap in a fur-coat from top to toe and drink a glass of vodka with Russian bear.
And during the last day of Maslenitsa Russian jack-straw - the symbol of winter - is burnt. People bid farewell to winter till the next year.
Maslenitsa for the Russians means the same as the carnival means for the Italians, moreover the Italian carne-vale can be translated as "goodbye beef!", and Maslenitsa that is always prior to the Lent was anciently called "myasopust", because the tradition forbad to eat meat during this week.
The last day of Maslenitsa is also the Sunday when everybody asks for excuse to feel free from sins before the Lent. People bow down to each other and hear the words in return "God forgives". Maslenitsa goes away and so does winter. It leaves with the first drip of thawing snow. Spring is to rule now.