SPRING IS COMING!
We know how to make the spring coming, but do you?! Surely, Maslenitsa is the best way to say goodbye to the cold snowy winter and to greet the first lights of a sun, birds returning from the South and snowdrops breaking out of the snow! Maslenitsa, also known as a Butter Lady or Crepe week, is an oldest survived Slavic holiday and it is celebrated throughout Russia. This last week of February all Russians eat pancakes with different filling: sour crème, caviar, butter and many other things. The cheerful holiday is usually accompanied by different parties with a lot of music and dancing. It also stands to reason that various festivals are arranged in Moscow, so that we have prepared for you a number of sights, where you can enjoy one of the brightest Slavic holidays!
Theatrical performances, folk games and fun that appeal not only to adults but to children are waiting for you on 1st March in Sokolniki. Folkloric groups, covers bands and other performers will be responsible for the musical accompaniment. They will wear colorful folk costumes that complement the atmosphere of the holiday and fun. In the evening the Butter Lady will be burned symbolizing the winter leaving.
Where: st. Sokolniki Val, 1, build. 1, metro st. Sokolniki
When: 1st March
A festival program on Red Square dedicated to Maslenitsa will allow all guests to fully enjoy street performances, songs and dances. In the main square of the country, all the guests will be met with a variety of entertainments, as a rule, these are historical reconstructions, sports fun and street theater performances. In addition, adults and children can participate in craft workshops and not only try pancakes from different flour with sweet and salty stuffing, but also get the skills of cooking an old dish! Moreover, the best Russian performers and creative groups will present a show.
Where: Red Square, metro st. Okhotny Ryad, Ploshchad Revolyutsii, and Teatralnaya
When: 1st March
Gorky Park is one of the main venues for festivities. Shrovetide in 2020 lasts for a week from February 24th. These days, everyone will have fun and on Sunday, March 1st, a spring festival will traditionally be conducted in the park, where a scarecrow will be burned. Guests are invited to take part in traditional Russian amusements, among which are: tug of war, the battle with bags and the traditional Russian attraction – the Pancake week pillar, which only the most dexterous and purposeful can climb up. Different concerts and master classes will be organized as well. And it goes without saying that guests will be lavished with pancakes and other dishes of Russian cuisine!
Where: Krymsky Val, house 9, metro st. Park of Culture, Octyabr’skaya
When: 1st March
The program at VDNH includes meetings with animators, playing folk instruments, dancing, performing folk songs and taking part in ditties’ battles. In addition, everyone can go down the slide and the pancake cooking workshops will be organized for younger guests. Adults are invited to try their hand at painting wooden toys, pulling a rope, climbing up a pole and, most importantly, parting with the winter—burning a scarecrow!
Where: Prospect Mira, 119, metro st. VDNKH
When: 1st March
Undoubtedly, museum-reserve “Kolomenskoye” is the most beautiful place in Moscow! This land is very ancient— the first evidence of people living there dates back to the Stone Age! During Maslenitsa in Kolomenskoye you can take part in folk games, listen to concerts, sing with artists, watch performances of folk street theaters, try to make souvenirs and gifts by yourself. The museum staff has prepared various interactive games, contests with spectators in which prizes could be won. In addition, guests are invited to have round dances and, together with the folk groups, perform ditties. ATTENTION! For the first time this year, the museum-reserve has announced a competition for the best scarecrow (it should be small – from 10 to 30 cm). Winners will receive prizes! The results will be summed up on 1st March from 15.00 to 15.30.
Where: Avenue Andropova, 39, metro st. Kolomenskaya
When: February 29th, from 13.00 to 17.00; March 1st from 12.00 to 17.00
As you can imagine, Moscow Shrovetide is a great holiday, and pancakes are its essential element. But what if you want to celebrate Maslenitsa at home? Then, try to cook your own pancakes or blini! We tell you how…
- 1/4 cups milk
- 5 eggs
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon citric acid powder
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2/3 cup butter, divided
Beat together the milk and the eggs. Stir in the salt and the sugar and mix well. Add the baking soda and citric acid.
Blend in the flour. Add the vegetable oil and pour in the boiling water, stirring constantly. The batter should be very thin, almost watery. Set the bowl aside and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Pick the pan up off the heat. Pour in a ladleful of batter while you rotate your wrist, tilting the pan so the batter makes a circle and coats the bottom. The blini should be very thin.
Return the pan to the heat. Cook the blini for 90 seconds. Carefully lift up an edge of the blini to see if it’s fully cooked: the edges will be golden and it should have brown spots on the surface. Flip the blini over and cook the other side for 1 minute.
Transfer the blini to a plate lined with a clean kitchen towel. Continue cooking the blini, adding an additional tablespoon of butter to the pan after each 4 blini. Stack them on top of each other and cover with the kitchen towel to keep warm. Put your favorite filling in the center of the blini.
Enjoy Russian Maslenitsa in Moscow and treat your nearest and dearest with pancakes. Spring is coming!
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Author: Elena Surovtseva