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Maslenitsa festival: a week of pancakes and joy

February 22, 17:49 UTC+3
Maslenitsa is a traditional Russian holiday marking the end of winter that dates back to pagan times
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Performers entertain people while they celebrate Maslenitsa, or Pancake week at Manezhnaya Square, near Red Square in Moscow
Performers entertain people while they celebrate Maslenitsa, or Pancake week at Manezhnaya Square, near Red Square in Moscow
Performers entertain people while they celebrate Maslenitsa, or Pancake week at Manezhnaya Square, near Red Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
A man tries to climb atop a pole to win souvenirs
A man tries to climb atop a pole to win souvenirs
A man tries to climb atop a pole to win souvenirs
© AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
A performer dressed as a bear
A performer dressed as a bear
A performer dressed as a bear
© AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
Maslenitsa celebrates the end of winter and marks the arrival of spring
Maslenitsa celebrates the end of winter and marks the arrival of spring
Maslenitsa celebrates the end of winter and marks the arrival of spring
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS
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Performers entertain people while they celebrate Maslenitsa, or Pancake week at Manezhnaya Square, near Red Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
A man tries to climb atop a pole to win souvenirs
© AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
A performer dressed as a bear
© AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS
Maslenitsa celebrtions at Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
Maslenitsa celebrates the end of winter and marks the arrival of spring
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

Maslenitsa is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday. It's celebrated the seventh week before Russian Orthodox Easter. Maslenitsa is the last week before the onset of Great Lent. During this week, meat is already forbidden to Orthodox Christians, but milk, cheese and other dairy products are still permitted. For Maslenitsa Russians usually have pancakes (or blinis), which are made of the ingredients still permitted by the Orthodox tradition. This year the festival started in Russia on February 20 and will last until February 26.

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