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Today Russians start celebrating pehaps the most cheerful holiday called Maslenitsa (or Shrovetide, or Pancake Week). This holiday comes from pre-Christian times, when the Slavic people were still pagans. In all Russian cities there are loads of special events, so it is really worth visiting Russia during these days to feel the Russian spirit!

Maslenitsa is celebrated during the week preceding the Lent. Every day of Maslenitsa is devoted to special rituals. We will post the daily activities on our FB page, so make sure you "like" us and follow!

The main venue for this year's Maslenitsa in Moscow will be a large pedestrian area in the Central District - from Tverskaya Square to Kuznetsky Most. In particular, Kamergersky Alley will become a food court, where guests will try various kinds of blini, Lavrushinsky Alley will turn into a large playground, and Stoleshnikov will become an exhibition gallery, which will feature 40 designer Maslenitsa effigies. Russian street theaters will perform in the pedestrian area through the Maslenitsa week. At the end of Maslenitsa, on March 16 and 17, the festivities will take place in all Moscow parks.

St. Petersburg also offers a lot of things to do, eat and visit these days: IX Festival of Ballet and Opera Maslenitsa (Shrovetide), lots of events in parks and even special Maslenitsa menus in most restaurants and hotels! The peak of celebration is 16th-17th March with the main events in Yusupobsly Park and Park of St. Petersburg 300 years anniversary. There are also open-air programmes in Summer Garden,  Peter and Paul Fortress, Central Park named after Kirov

We welcome you to visit Russia during these days. You can still manage to get your visa invitation with our online visa support service or plan it for the next year (23 Feb - 1 Mar 2014), right after Sochi Olympic Games