"This event is devoted not only to having a good time but, most importantly, to collecting money for people in need both in the US and in Russia", Father Viktor Potapov, rector of the Russian St. John the Baptist cathedral, said on Friday. Potapov’s church along with the St. Nicholas cathedral of the Orthodox Church organized the event.
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov during the event said that Maslenitsa is a great Russian tradition. The ambassador said the gathering helps two parishes to help people in need.
"Here, thousands of miles away from Russia, this tradition becomes a uniting event for the Russian community", Antonov said.
Potapov noted that both churches plan to raise thousands of dollars. "Usually on average it is about $40,000. Each church takes one half of those funds and puts it in benevolent funds", Potapov said.
The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC held the 21st annual celebration of traditional Slavic holiday #Maslenitsa— Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) March 2, 2019
🥞 https://t.co/FltvVfJOwK #RussianCuisine#Масленица пришла в Вашингтон. На мероприятии выступили танцевальные коллективы, состоялся благотворительный аукцион pic.twitter.com/YGKyGFL1Fx
"In Russia we support various orphanages. We also help people who have been in one way or the other damaged because of the armed conflict in Donbass", Potapov said and expressed gratitude to Antonov for continuing the tradition.
Maslenitsa is a traditional Eastern Slavic 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.
READ MORE: Russian Maslenitsa in London