To us the winter was still very present this February while we were eating our bliny (a Russian pancake, quite close to a french crepe) at an outside stand near the Red place, the very night we arrived at Moscow. When asking a child and her mother enjoying their blinis next to us the meaning of the festivities that were going around the place, they explained us that we had just arrived on the first day of the Malesnitsa week. This was actually an awesome surprise to us and we hadn’t seen this festival mentioned in any of the paper or online guides we had read when planning our trip.
Originally a Slavic holiday honoring the coming of the spring and the sun and later adopted by the Orthodoxe church to mark the beginning of the Lent, Maslenitsa was traditionally celebrated by cooking blinis and inviting friends and family over to eat them together, playing some folks games and burning straw effigies at the end the week.
In 2017, in Moscow, it was celebrated all over the city in parks and public places with installations such as traditional food stands, folks games for the kids (and the older ones), ice skating rings, tradional craftmanships demonstrations, ice sculptures, concerts and dances in a great joyful ambiance.
The weather was chilly but the atmosphere was definitively warm !