What? Maslenitsa (“butter week”) is a half-Christian, half-Slavic pagan celebration of the soon-to-come end of winter that takes place for a week before Lent. Think Mardi Gras, or carnivals of Rio de Janeiro and Venice, but instead of ball gowns, beads and nudity you get traditional Russian games, folk music and dance concerts, a lot more snow and horse sleigh rides. You also get piles and piles of bliny – Russian crepe-like pancakes that are THE traditional Maslenitsa food, representing the sun – and everyone gets a little tipsy on medovukha, the honey-mead.
Where? Suzdal is a small town about 5 hours from Moscow and a must-see destination for anyone curious about the real old Russia because of its stunning examples of medieval churches and fortresses and traditional wooden houses of Russian villages.
Why? Although Maslenitsa festivities take place throughout Russia, including all over Moscow, Suzdal is particularly known…
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