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A weeklong celebration of Russian culture – a pancake week started in Vologda on March 8

Russian Pancake week called " Maslenitsa" will be celebrated to Sunday March 14th.

A popular Maslenitsa festival, a weeklong celebration of Russian music, dancing and pancakes marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It has its origins in pagan sun worship.

The week’s festivities kicked off on March 8, even though, climate-wise, it still feels like winter. To warm themselves, Russians spend the festival week eating tons of pancakes. The Maslenitsa menu includes stacks of pancakes with countless different kinds of fillings.

This Slavic festival is marked not only by eating pancakes but also by riding on troikas and parading around the Maslenitsa effigy, which symbolizes the harsh winter. The most charming carnival tradition of Maslenitsa is the conquest of the snow town, burning a woman of straw symbolizing winter, lighting fires, leaving festival food on the ancestors' graves. This year, a woman of straw will not be burnt in line with a ban on large-scale events.

Vologda Oblast official website