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Beautiful Pictures From Maslenitsa Folk Festivals in Russia.

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Maslenitsa Folk Festival in Russia is an annual 7-day celebration held in remembrance of the dead.

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Participants dressed in folk costumes at the opening of the Moscow Maslenitsa festival on Manezhnaya Square.

The celebration, usually observed as a holiday, wasn’t given much considerations for about 85 years until 2002. In that year, Maslenista was officially celebrated and has since become part of Moscow’s calendar.

Russia kicked of the festivities for this year’s event on 20 February, and it’ll last until 26 February, 2017.

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Participants dressed in folk costumes at the opening of the Moscow Maslenitsa festival on Manezhnaya Square.

Maslenista is observed across the country with folklore songs, dances, traditional clothings, piles of pancakes and more. The events mark an end to winter and opens up the doors for spring.

During the festivals, bonfires will be lit and an image of Maslenista which is usually made with straw gets burnt to mark an end to winter.

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Participants dressed in folk costumes play musical instruments during the opening of the Moscow Maslenitsa festival on Manezhnaya Square.

Also, group fist fights are held within the week of Maslenitsa. Although this sounds a bit strange to most foreigners, the fight is considered as one of the absurd rituals of Maslenista.

Fist fighting commemorates Russian military history, when soldiers supposedly fought each other in hand-to-hand combat, but this fist fighting is just in good fun!

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The monument of Yuri Dolgorukiy, the founder of Moscow, on Tverskaya Square where the opening of the Moscow Maslenitsa festival takes place.

Here are a few highlights from the event:

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A dancer dressed in a traditional costume at the Pancake & Cheese Fun festivities in Belgorod.

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Participants dressed in traditional costumes at the opening of the Moscow Maslenitsa festival on Tverskaya Square.

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The opening of the Moscow Maslenitsa festival on Manezhnaya Square.

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Participants dressed in folk costumes play musical instruments during the opening of the Moscow Maslenitsa festival on Manezhnaya Square.

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Participants dressed in folk costumes at the opening of the Moscow Maslenitsa festival on Tverskaya Square, in front of the office building of Moscow’s mayor.

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Participants dressed in folk costumes march at the opening of the Moscow Maslenitsa festival on Manezhnaya Square.

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Participants dressed in folk costumes at the opening of the Moscow Maslenitsa festival on Tverskaya Square.

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Participants dressed in folk costumes at the opening of the Moscow Maslenitsa festival on Manezhnaya Square.

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Dancers perform at the Pancake & Cheese Fun festivities in Belgorod.

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