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Kerry Kubilius

Russian Culture Monday: Maslenitsa in St. Petersburg

By February 1, 2010

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The largest and most organized Maslenitsa celebration occurs in Moscow every year. St. Petersburg, another favorite travel destination in Russia, does celebrate Maslenitsa, but travelers will be hard-pressed to find any published information on programs of events. However, there are opportunities to experience Maslenitsa celebrations if you happen to be in St. Petersburg during this Shrovetide holiday. Some restaurants in St. Petersburg take advantage of Pancake Week to promote menus of traditional food. The Yusopov Palace celebrates Maslenitsa with entertainment, a burning of the Maslenitsa effigy, and a ball that serves as a reminder of the formal grandeur of pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg. Kirov Park has also been a traditional location for Maslenitsa festivities.

The most well-known St. Petersburg Maslenitsa celebration is staged by the Mariinksy Theater. The playbill for this week includes classic opera and ballet favorites like The Nutcracker, The Snow Maiden, Boris Godunov, and The Firebird, and the musical concerts showcasing music by Russian composers and of Russian folk songs.

More Russian Culture Monday

Mariinsky Theater photo credit: CC by Carlton Browne

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