Seven weeks before Easter are the week-long Maslenitsa festivities – Russia’s pancake week. With pancake being the symbol of sun, the festival combines pagan traditions of celebrating the end of winter and the beginning of spring with the Christian tradition of feasting before the Great Lent. Throughout the history each day has been marked with different activities: making Maslenitsa dolls from straw and old clothes, making and eating lots of pancakes (blinis), sledging, playing seasows, singing, fist fighting, visiting family and exchanging gifts, feasting and drinking tea or vodka. The Maslenitsa dolls are burned on the final day to see the winter off and people jump over bonfires. Any city or village will host Maslenitsa celebrations so make sure to check the schedule of your local events and enjoy the festive spirit.