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    MOSCOW OFFICIALLY CELEBRATES MASLENITSA

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    MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow will officially celebrate Maslenitsa (Pancake Week) for the third consecutive year, February 16-22. The main events will take place at Vasilyevsky Spusk (near the Kremlin Walls) and in city parks, Moscow's tourism committee told RIA Novosti.

    During the week, Muscovites and visitors to Moscow will enjoy all kinds of entertainment including folk concerts and fireworks. Souvenir pavilions, a skating rink and stages will open on Vasilyevsky Spusk. The guests to Maslenitsa will be treated to pancakes, pies and sweets.

    On February 19, an attempt to break the world record for the tallest pile of pancakes will be made. The last year's world record setting pile was nearly seven meters high. This time well known politicians will participate in the competition.

    In Russia, Maslenitsa coincides with when the weather begins to get warmer. The adoption of Russian Orthodoxy did not stop people from celebrating Maslenitsa. Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, Peter the Great, Catherine the First and Catherine the Second all participated in Maslenitsa celebrations.

    At the carnival on the last day of Maslenitsa a huge straw scarecrow, signifying Winter, is traditionally burned.

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