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Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus

Maslenitsa celebrations in Belarus


A richly set Maslenitsa table with a variety of pancake dishes is the tradition of the week to see off the winter.


The popular museum complex of ancient crafts and technologies is famous for its large-scale festivities. Dear guests are greeted with pancakes and branded brews literally from the doorstep. Next — dancing! The Guliaj, Bulbash and Zhyvitsa ensembles, the Svyata band will perform here at the Maslenitsa festival. Pillow fights, throwing wooden clubs, and wooden horse speed riding will take place in separate locations. Belarusian folk tales ‘The Devil’, ‘The Proud Piglet’ and ‘The Certified Ram’ will be shown at the batleika site (Belarusian puppet theatre). An interesting feature
is that the guests will need to make fire themselves to burn the Winter effigy.


Ivan Shmelev wrote about Maslenitsa better than anyone, “... pancakes again and again. Stuffed pancakes. These are followed by aspic, and pancakes again — this time, with two fillings. After them, steamed sturgeon, baked pancakes... milk pancakes, light pancakes, pancakes with eggs...” You may want to add only one thing — mouth-watering!
In the Zdravnevo estate near Vitebsk, it is planned to feed several hundred guests with pancakes. The delicacy will be cooked right outdoors, according to a special Zdravnevsky recipe. Various fillings and fragrant tea from the samovar will be served for pancakes. The festive programme also includes round dances, burning the effigy and pony rides for the youngest. By the way, every participant in the celebration will be able to go on an excursion to the Ilya Repin Museum Manor.

Pripyatsky National Park

Our ancestors believed that all circular movements and round objects help the sun to complete the annual cycle faster and accelerate the arrival of spring. That is why they saw off the winter with round dances and pancakes.
The Pripyatsky National Park, which is in the heart of Polesie, traditionally arranges ethno style Maslenitsa celebrations. Folklore songs and dances, folk rituals and hearty oven-baked dishes are waiting for tourists. Local hostesses will teach children how to beautifully paint gingerbread cookies, and men will show how to make birdhouses.


For delicious impressions, go to the western part of the country — just five kilometres from Grodno, the local Meat-Packing Plant has equipped a luxurious agro-tourist complex. People normally come here to ride horses and take
a break from the city hustle and bustle. But during the Maslenitsa celebrations, the complex always guarantees a rich cultural and gastronomical programme for its visitors. The complex makes sure to provide master classes on baking
thin pancakes, and never-ending tastings of meat processing plant products.
You can also ride on the stove with Yemelya [Russian fairy-tale character] or try your hand at mock mace fights.
Of course, the celebrations would not be complete without conquering the Maslenitsa pillar! Sausages, polendvitsa [dry-cured pork fillet with spices] and jamon will be awaiting the winners at the top. Here is the entertainment for the bravest — a swimming race in hats with earflaps and kokoshniks [traditional Russian headdress worn by women].
All participants will receive exclusive treats from the organisers.


Large families with children will definitely enjoy the ecotourism centre near Minsk. Before the start of Maslenitsa festivities, it is offered to visit the zoological garden there to see peacocks and pheasants, foxes and raccoons, llamas and mouflons, lynxes and tigers, and more. Everyone is delighted to watch the two besties — Vasilisa the bear and Anfisa the dog. Having walked along the eco-paths to your heart’s content, you can recharge your batteries by eating pancakes and then participate in a variety of games and contests. The Minsk retro women’s trio ‘Pink Roses’ will be
in charge of the music programme in Stankovo this year. A spectacular fire show is planned before the burning of the straw-stuffed effigy.