20:02 GMT05 June 2020
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    © Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich
    Participants of an entertainment program dressed in fancy dresses during the 'Moskovskaya Maslenitsa' festival on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow.

    Maslenitsa is a traditional Slavic holiday dating back to pre-Christian days and it is celebrated a week before the Great Fast - the most important fasting season in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

    Maslenitsa is always marked with festivities with people traditionally bidding farewell to the cold winter while waiting for the upcoming warmth and rejuvenation of nature that comes with spring.

    As with other holidays originating in the distant past, Maslenitsa has its symbols, namely a big straw woman of Maslenitsa, sledging, open-air celebrations and last but not least, blinis - a traditional Slavic variant of pancakes that are served with a variety of fillers, including ham, fish, caviar and one of the most favourite - sour creme.

    Each day of the week-long holiday was traditionally marked with a specific ceremony. Thus, on Monday people welcome the straw woman of Maslenitsa, Tuesday sees the most intensive open-air celebration, while during Sunday, often called Quinquagesima Sunday, people ask relatives for forgiveness and burn the Maslenitsa straw women.

    fancy dress, festival, Maslenitsa, Moscow, Russia
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