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Fairytale characters, cooking schools and crafts: Moscow Maslenitsa festival

The Moscow Maslenitsa festival will offer street performances and concerts, games and creative classes. The festival will be held on 1–10 March at 15 venues in the city centre and districts. Visitors will be able to take part in the entertainment programme and sample hundreds of varieties of blini, from the classic styles with sour cream and honey to signature blini with various fillings.

Meeting with fairytales: Pike in the well and Ivan Tsarevich

Russian fairytales will be the main theme of the festival programme on Tverskaya Square. Festival-goers will be welcomed by Ivan Tsarevich, Finest the Brave Falcon, Vasilisa the Wise, Marya Morevna and Alyonushka. A pike that makes wishes come true will be swimming in a well. Fairytale characters will join visitors in traditional Maslenitsa games, reels and festive singing and will also stage small performances.

There will also be a cooking school on Tverskaya Square to teach people how to cook blini using recipes from fairytales. Visitors will cook spelt blini from The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda, blini with honey and halva from The Tale of the Golden Cockerel, blini with apples of youth, thin lace-like blini for the Swan Princess and “emerald” blini using the recipe of the squirrel from The Tale of Tsar Saltan.

For every taste: Bird-cherry (prunus padus) blini and blini rolls

Moscow Maslenitsa cooking schools will open at almost every venue. Each one will have its own name, theme schedule and menu. At the Blinnaya school on Revolution Square, children will by guided to cook blini with oatmeal, buckwheat and whole-meal flour as well as curd tarts with cottage cheese and dough for thin lace-like blini.

At Bufetnaya school on Dmitriya Donskogo Boulevard visitors will learn how to cook Siberian cream blini, blini a la Cossack and quick bread with salt.

At the Food Shop on Slavy Square young visitors will bake a blini pie with vegetables, and at the Blini Club on Profsoyuznaya Street learn the secrets of blini cakes and rolls as well as striped and bird-cherry blini.

Hosts at the Blini Market on Sirenevy Boulevard in Troitsk will describe an ancient recipe for buckwheat blini and those from the Blini Floor on Youth Square in Zelenograd will teach how to fry colourful blini and wheat-and-oatmeal blini.

In addition, there will be cooking schools on Mitinskaya and Gorodetskaya streets.

Clay toys, pottery and traditional Russian ornaments

Children will also be able to learn basic crafts and applied arts at the Maslenitsa festival venues. The Forest Shop on Dmitriya Donskogo Boulevard will teach accessory painting a la khokhloma and Maslenitsa dolls creation.

Visitors at the Artisanal Crafts House on Gorodetskaya Street will make clay toys and learn how to weave colourful belts.

The history and traditions of Maslenitsa will be discussed at the Masters’ Estate on Slavy Square. Visitors will be able to paint with watercolours, paint a roly-poly in the Gzhel style and learn how to use the filigree technique.

At the City of All Trades on Mitinskaya Street children will learn basic pottery and weaving as well as the Palekh and Mezen painting techniques at the Décor Bureau on Khachaturyana Street.

There will be two programmes on Orekhovy Boulevard at the same time. Children will be able to learn basic carving at the Craftsman House and learn about traditional Russian ornaments at the creative studio.

There will also be other entertainment for children. They will be able to test their strength with the Roll Blini interactive machine, ride carrousels and rocking horses, swing, play with a top, play Nine men's morris and Fox games (a board game similar to checkers) and put a large Maslenitsa jigsaw puzzle together. They will also be able to take pictures at various art installations such as with Maslenitsa and Matryoshka dolls.

All festival events are free.

Moscow Maslenitsa festival venues:

— Manezhnaya Square
— Revolution Square
— Crosswalk from Manezhnaya Square to Revolution Square
— Tverskaya Square
— 1 Gorodetskaya Street
— 21 Yartsevskaya Street
— 12 Novopeshanaya Street
— 13 Khachaturyana Street
— 31 Mitinskaya Street
— 24 Orekhovy Boulevard
— Slavy Square
— 41 Profsoyuznaya Street
— 11 Dmitriya Donskogo Boulevard
— 2 Youth Square, Zelenograd
— 1 Sirenevy Boulevard, Troitsk.

Fairytale characters, cooking schools and crafts: Moscow Maslenitsa festival