- Sputnik International, 1920
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

Beijing Celebrates Maslenitsa With Pancakes and Dancing

© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to the mediabankBlinis with sour cream cooked at the 'Moskovskaya Maslenitsa' festival on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow
Blinis with sour cream cooked at the 'Moskovskaya Maslenitsa' festival on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.03.2024
Maslenitsa is a traditional Russian festival celebrating the end of winter and the arrival of spring, typically marked by the consumption of pancakes, festive gatherings, and various cultural activities.
Beijing residents have celebrated Maslenitsa widely, with circle dances, Russian folk songs and traditional Russian bliny (pancakes).
"The idea to hold the event was born last year. After we successfully held a concert of the Turetsky Choir here, we realized that the Chinese audience accepts Russian artists and Russian culture very well," said Yulia Kapranova, head of the secretariat of the Russian-Chinese Friendship, Peace and Development Committee.
"Seeing off the Russian Winter in China" was held at the Beijing Exhibition Center, the organizers prepared festive treats and a spectacular entertainment program to show the residents of the Chinese capital what Maslenitsa is, as well as to introduce them to various types of Russian folk art.
Rooted in Eastern Slavic folklore, Maslenitsa is a widely celebrated festival among orthodox Christians and of course in Russia. Maslenitsa lasts a week and culminates with the beginning of Great Lent.
During Maslenitsa, people indulge in the consumption of bliny, traditional Russian pancakes made from thin batter and usually served with butter, sour cream, caviar, or jam. These pancakes symbolize the sun, with their round shape and golden color representing the warmth and brightness of spring.
Apart from feasting on pancakes, Maslenitsa festivities often include outdoor gatherings, folk performances, music, dance, and various cultural activities. One of the highlights of the celebration is the burning of a straw effigy, symbolizing the end of winter and the triumph of spring. Maslenitsa provides a joyful opportunity for communities to come together, enjoy each other's company, and welcome the changing seasons with optimism and merriment.
Kapranova recalled that Russia and China are now celebrating intercultural years.

"We were thinking about which holiday to celebrate together, and since our Chinese colleagues were already preparing for the Spring Festival (Chunjie, Chinese New Year) in Moscow, we decided to hold the Maslenitsa in Beijing," she explained.

She added that the Moscow event was "simply amazing" and that the people of the Russian capital were impressed.
"It was beautiful, bright, delicious, and we decided to make such a reciprocal step. We hope that our Chinese friends will also enjoy everything today."
A buffet of traditional Russian dishes was prepared for the visitors. The most popular among them were pancakes.
The guests were also able to take part in a master class on the art of sabrazh - opening champagne with a Cossack saber - and watch performances by the "Moscow Cossack Choir" and "Krinitsa" folk ensembles. Kapranova said that at least a thousand people attended the event, as "the invitations went out very quickly."
She added that the committee plans to organize exhibitions and fairs of handicrafts in Chinese provinces. In particular, talks are underway with Hainan province.
Maslenitsa is celebrated for the first time in Beijing. The intercultural years announced by the leaders of Russia and China in 2024-2025 have begun.
In 2024, in honor of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Russian diplomatic relations, Chinese New Year was widely celebrated in Moscow for the first time.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала