Things to do in London

Maslenitsa Russian Festival coming to Trafalgar Square

16:15 14 February 2012

Andrey Arshavin, Arsenal FC player and captain of the Russian National Team, enjoying a pancake at Maslenitsa 2011

Andrey Arshavin, Arsenal FC player and captain of the Russian National Team, enjoying a pancake at Maslenitsa 2011


Trafalgar Square is to play host to the Maslenitsa Russian Festival, celebrating Russian culture in the heart of London on February 26.

Maslenitsa is also known as Pancake Week, which is celebrated seven weeks before Pascha (Easter)

The event is in its fourth year and will feature traditional springtime celebrations, including music, dancing and plenty of blinis (a Russian type of pancake traditionally made with buckwheat flour and served with caviar), and is backed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

“In 2012 London will welcome the world for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and throughout the year fantastic events like the Maslenitsa festival will vividly illustrate why London is the most exciting international city on earth,” the Mayor said.

Authentic Russian food and drink will be available at the festival, offering visitors a chance to sample the taste of Russia.

Highlights include live music from rock groups, opera singers, dancers and folk jazz artists.

Olga Balakleets, Maslenitsa Festival artistic director, said. “Maslenitsa 2012 will not only feature the most exciting line-up of Russian artists performing a spectacular programme of music and dance, but this year, for the first time, there will be a week of events around London leading up to the big celebration on Trafalgar Square.

“This is the biggest event showcasing Russian culture and talent outside Russia, where the world can learn about the new Russia while also enjoying Russia’s rich cultural heritage.”

As part of the festival a free photography exhibition is based in City Hall, depicting images of Russians who have chosen to make London their home. This exhibition is currently ongoing and lasts until February 26.

The Moscow State Gogol Theatre will give a one-off performance of Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka (Vechera na khutore bliz Dikanki) in Russian with English subtitles on February 19.

Samarqand Restaurant, W1 will be hosting a Russian culinary evening on February 21.

Next week sees the Kensington Hotel and The Dorchester providing a Russian style afternoon tea menu.

There will also be a fashion show at the Victoria and Albert Museum on February 22 and a Russian themed club night takes place on February 25 at DSTRKT, W1D prior to the main event.

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