The event was organized by the members of the parish of St. Nicholas Cathedral and Cathedral of the Saint John the Baptist.
"The 'Maslenitsa' celebration has acquired several special meanings. It allows all members of the local Russian community… to reunite with an old tradition and its customs," Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said in the opening speech.
Maslenitsa is an ancient Slavic holiday originating from pagan culture and recognized by the Russian Orthodox Church. It is still very popular in @Russia. During the #Maslenitsa festivities we bid farewell to winter and welcome spring— Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) 10 февраля 2018 г.
The diplomat also stressed that one of the aims of the event was to raise funds for charity.
"Another important purpose of the evening is charity… All the proceedings from today’s event will go to the funds helping children and elderly people in need," Antonov added.
Maslenitsa is a traditional Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday, celebrated during the last week before Great Lent, preceding Orthodox Easter. Some traditional Maslenitsa activities involve eating pancakes, fist fighting, snowball fighting, sleigh rides and burning "Lady Maslenitsa" that represents winter.