The Pancake Festival (Maslenitsa Festival) is a traditional Russian holiday that has become a feast to celebrate the end of winter, and beginning of spring.
When: The last week before Great Lent (Usually between February and March, annually)
Where To Stay: Moscow hotels
While some countries have Carnival or Mardi Gras to party before the start of Lent, Russia has Maslenitas (also known as Pancake Week or Butter Week).
The pancakes are known as “blini,” in Russian, and resemble crepes in that they are thin and large, and cooked on a round griddle with filling placed inside.
Pancakes are said to symbolize the sun do to their shape and color, and are eaten all week topped with an assortment of foods including butter, jam and even caviar.
In addition to the food, other common activities during Pancake Festival include fist fighting, burning scarecrows, bear wrestling (yes, with an actual bear), bonfires, sledding and sleigh rides, puppet shows, carnival games and rides, dancing and singing, fireworks, and more.
Click here for more information on the Maslenita Pancake Festival.