London will hold on Sunday celebrations of Russian Maslenitsa, the Russian Orthodox equivalent of Shrovetide, for the first time on central Trafalgar Square.
Russian Maslenitsa in London is the largest annual festival celebrating Russian cultural traditions outside Russia. According to various estimates, the Russian-speaking diaspora in Greater London area numbers about 250,000 people.
This year's festivities will include an open-air public masquerade, folklore performances, pop music concerts and sales of Russian souvenirs and traditional pancakes.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin will address the guests of the festival via a video link with the British capital.
The venue will also be used to launch a graphic presentation of the Summer Olympic Games in London in 2012, and the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.
Shrovetide is an ancient festival dating from pagan times. At first it was a festival that celebrated the arrival of spring and the start of work on the land, but it has long lost its ritual significance and has become a symbolic festival of saying good-bye to winter and welcoming spring.
LONDON, March 6 (RIA Novosti)