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Russia is an amazing holiday destination. It is best visited during the festival season. The Russian festivals reveal the rich cultural tradition and fascinating customs of its people. While the festivals stem from the Christian legacy Russia shares with Europe and America, the manner of celebration is really unique. Let me take you through 4 of the most popular Russian festivals. My advice would be to plan a Russian holiday during the festival time and rest assured the memories will last a lifetime!

Maslenitsa (Pancake week) is the only purely Russian Holiday that dates back to the pagan times. It is dedicated to parting with winter and welcoming of spring. The essential element of this festival is Bliny a pancake. It is a symbol of the sun. It is as round, gold and warm as the sun. Bliby is served hot with either butter, or sour cream, or caviar, or mushrooms, or sturgeon - to any exquisite taste. Besides, every hostess has her own recipe how to cook it. Actually, Russian pancakes are more like French crepes – they are thin, unlike American thick pancakes.

Crepes & Caviar

Maslenitsa also includes masquerades, snowball fights, sledding, riding on swings and plenty of sleigh rides. Each day of Maslenitsa has its traditional activity.
Monday – “meeting”,
Tuesday – “fun”,
Wednesday – “sweet tooth”,
Thursday – “feast”
Friday – “visiting mother-in-law”
Saturday – “visiting sister-in-law”
Sunday – “farewell” “Forgiveness day”.


The mascot of the celebration is usually a brightly dressed straw effigy of Lady Maslenitsa, formerly known as Kostroma. As the culmination of the celebration, on Sunday evening, Lady Maslenitsa is stripped of her finery and put to the flames of a bonfire. Any remaining blintzes are also thrown on the fire, and Lady Maslenitsa's ashes are buried in the snow to fertilize the crops!


Noviy God or New Year, is the most popular Russian festival. New Year traditions are centered around a New Year's Tree (conifer tree) known as Novogodnaya Yolka.

Novogodnaya Yolka(New Year Tree)

Kuranty Strike 12

There is a song dedicated to the New Year tree which is usually sung by Father Frost and children around the tree! It is decorated with sweets and special glass decorations and has a bright star on top. The New Year in Russia cannot be visualized without the magic crowd puller Ded Moroz or Father Frost who is the Russian Santa Claus. He is accompanied by his fairy granddaughter, companion and helpmate Snegurochka or Snow Maiden. They come to greet kids with the New Year and give them long-awaited gifts. In spite of some similar details, such as a snow-white beard, long gown and present-giving function, Father Frost and Santa Claus are quite different characters.

Continue the full article at http://www.greatholidayideas.net/heritage/russian-festivals.html
 

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Russia is an amazing holiday destination. It is best visited during the festival season. All festivals reveal the rich cultural tradition. Few festivals of Russia are Art Moscow (Moscow, Russia), Festival of the North (Murmansk, Russia) , Kinoshock (Anapa, Russia) and many more.
 
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