04.11.2023–08.07.2024 MOSCOW, VDNH


Maslenitsa Week is in full swing: festive events at the RUSSIA EXPO

Maslenitsa Week is in full swing: festive events at the RUSSIA EXPO
Expo News
Photo: Kristina Kormilitsyna/RIA News

Maslenitsa Week events continue at the RUSSIA EXPO. On March 14, the central event of the day was the opening of the Maslenitsa Festival — a series of exciting gastronomic performances by the best chefs from different regions of the country.

The start of the culinary festival program was kicked off by the "Day of Basic Recipes" in the "House of Russian Cuisine" pavilion. The coordinator of the festival program was Ekaterina Shapovalova, the author of the "Gastronomic Map of Russia" project, an expert in the field of gastronomy and hospitality.

 "Pancake Week is in full swing. Together with the team of cooks of "Gastronomic Map of Russia" over the four days we will demonstrate to the guests of VDNH how it is possible to fit all our vast country in one dish," said Ekaterina Shapovalova.

During the Maslenitsa Festival guests will be able to taste about 20 types of pancakes of the peoples of Russia with various fillings: karavaitsy, Arctic pancakes with venison, pink pancakes of Arina Rodionovna, northern pancakes with cloudberry jam, "grandmother's" pancakes with sour cream and red salmon caviar, hingalsh with pumpkin, Far Eastern pancakes with crab, tabani with zyret and honey, pachat and many others.

The guests saw performances of the leading chefs of the Altai region, gastro show "Siberian Maslenitsa".

Photo: Kirill Zykov/RIA News

"Our pancakes are not ordinary, their main secret is buckwheat flour, because the Altai region is the most buckwheat place not only in Russia, but on the whole planet. And we love it and eat it almost every day and, of course, many people in Altai make such pancakes. We took melted milk, soaked buckwheat in it overnight, then it was removed and the milk became buckwheat-flavored. And that's exactly what we bake our pancakes on today," said Alexander Yudin, chef, member of the Siberian Guild of Chefs and Pastry Chefs. 

The guests of the festival could taste pancakes made of natural Altai products not only with traditional sour cream and honey, but also with Altai cheese, jam, mushrooms and even Siberian stag meat. In addition, on the "Day of Basic Recipes" visitors to the Exposition tasted pancakes according to traditional recipes: semolina pancakes, oatmeal non-lean pancakes, "openwork" pancakes, leavened dough pancakes, baked pancakes and many others.

At the same time, the guests were told about the rich traditions of Maslenitsa and, of course, explained why the first pancake always comes out "in a lump" (or "kom" in Russian).

"People use to say: "The first pancake failed, it came out in a lump". But everything is not so simple: what does it mean — "the first pancake failed"? It just means that the frying pan wasn't sufficiently greased and heated. But actually, in ancient mythology there was a god Veles, who could take on the form of a bear, and he used to roll down the mountain - in a lump of sorts. Moreover, Maslenitsa in ancient times was called Red Mount, and every housewife, when baking pancakes, put the first one on the windowsill as an offering to the ancestors. That's why they started to say "the first pancake goes to the koms" — because Veles guarded the border of the world of the living and the world of spirits: including the ancestors who have gone to the next world," said Marina Vyalkova, Merited Artist of the Altai Republic, head of the "Yarmanka" folklore ensemble.

Pancake Festival in the House of Russian Cuisine of the RUSSIA EXPO will last until March 17. The program includes gastronomic masterpieces from nine regions of Russia: the Republics of Bashkortostan and Mordovia, the Republic of Udmurtia, the Ryazan, Primorye, Kamchatka regions, Moscow, the Vladimir and Murmansk regions.

After the hearty and delicious tastings guests could get physically active on the square in front of the Exposition's Main Street Stage, where traditional Maslenitsa amusements were held throughout the day: the guests were happy to take part in a bright ribbon carousel, braiding, round dance games and, of course, in a merry tug-of-war. And it was possible to capture the bright impressions of the holiday as a memento thanks to thematic photo zones.

Photo: Maxim Blinov/RIA News

For those who prefer educational programs to noisy folk festivities, the organizers prepared a variety of workshops and creative meetings: within the framework of "Days of Traditional Culture. Great Maslenitsa" the guests were taught how to create a folk Maslenitsa doll and told about traditional dances and songs associated with the holiday. And, of course, at the peak of the Pancake Week a large theatrical and concert program was prepared for the Exposition visitors.

In the Maslenitsa procession, the main character "Sun" sang folk songs and walked down the street accompanied by stilt walkers, stuntmen, musicians and animators with tambourines in designer costumes. It was possible to live through the entire Maslenitsa Week in one day - from Meeting to Razgulyay — by attending the theatricalized concert "Merry Maslenitsa — the Heart of Russia" with the participation of students — laureates of Russian and international competitions. On the Main Street Stage, the concert "Have Fun, Maslenitsa" featuring People's Artists of Russia Nadezhda Krygina, Lyudmila Nikolaeva, Sergey Borzov and others was held. And in Pavilion No. 75 you could hear songs and ditties and see traditional Maslenitsa rituals.

The full list of Maslenitsa Week events is available in the "Events" section.

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