Maslenitsa - is the longest holiday of February. It’s an old holiday that comes to us from our pagan ancestors which celebrates end of winter and beginning of spring. It lasts one week right before the Great Lent (Fest). The main attribute of this 7-day holiday are crepes – round, gold color and hot – just like the sun! Before Russia accepted Christianity, each day of the holiday had its own meaning and activates. For example: On Monday of the holiday – you were supposed to meet with friends and family outdoors and make a lady scarecrow out of hay. On Tuesday – play games, ride sleighs, dance outdoors in the snow. On Wednesday – make crepes and invite guests. The last day of Maslenitsa is called “Forgiving day” – people ask for forgiveness for all things they may have done that past year to start a new year with a clean page. Sort of like a refresh button. At the end of the day, the whole crowd meets again and burns the lady scarecrow (symbol of winter) and dance in the circle around the fire welcoming spring season. Today, offices and stores are open regular hours during the holiday but every city has festivals, concerts, crepes selling, street decorations and of course burning the lady scarecrow! In 2019 Maslenitsa holiday in Russia will be from March 4 to March 10.
There are 400 cars for every 1000 people in Moscow. City officials claim over 8 million cars in the city (including Moscow Region). February heavy snowstorms brought joy to children, white fairytale scenes to all neighborhoods and horrific road conditions. Temperature is down to -17C (2F). So if you find yourself in Moscow this week, make sure to bring high boots, plan 2 hours commute to/from any Moscow airport and be sure to find time to see all that snow over Christmas illumination in the city center! Have fun and stay warm!