Russian Festival Maslenitsa

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Description

More than 40,000 people attended the open-air Russian Festival Maslenitsa which took place on Sunday at Potters Fields Park, against the backdrop of such famous sites as Tower Bridge, City Hall and the Tower of London.

The broad range of acts presented by the BBC Russian Service’s Seva Novgorodzev and charismatic British Russophile Lieran Stubbings, took place at the dramatic riverside location from 1pm to 6pm.

The audience were warmed by the energetic pieces performed by Russian Song of the 21st Century as well as their nostalgic renditions of Russian favourites Katusha and Kalinka. The ballads and khorovody (circle dances) of folk ensemble Chibatuha then led onto official speeches by such guests as the Russian Ambassador to the UK Yuri Fedotov, Deputy Mayor of London, Ian Clement and Mariana Maksimovskaya. Younger members of the audience were delighted by the walking bear which padded around the park greeting children and adults alike, as well as dancing vigorously on stage. They also enjoyed their own entertainment, organised by Znaniye School, in the Scoop at More London which took place concurrently with the acts featured on the main stage.

Attendees enjoyed staples of Russian cuisine on offer at kiosks around the park. Russian pancakes, or blini, were however the most popular choice for festival-goers since they are traditionally eaten at Maslenitsa, which like Britain’s Shrove Tuesday, draws on both Pagan and Christian traditions.

Date

1 March 2009

Venue

Potters Field Park, London

Gallery

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