Hello Popolzukha! Welcome Maslenitsa!

Maslenitsa week starts on 24 February. Maslenitsa is a big Slavic holiday, accompanying winter and meeting spring. Maslenitsa has no exact date, every year it shifts (Russ. polzet) in calendar.  That is why in folk songs it was called Popolzukha (from Russian "polzti)"

In old times great preparations for folk festivals  began in the first day of Maslenitsa- on Monday of Maslenitsa week. Ice-hills were built, the first pancakes were cooked. The traditions of Maslenitsa festivals are still alive. They are preserved in holidays, the names of objects, history of villages and towns. Thus Altai Kray and Maslenitsa.  

1. Ploshad' Svobody Square In Barnaul


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The main Cathedral square in Barnaul where Maslenitsa festivals took part, was later called Svoboda square. And perhaps it was on purpose. Holiday of spring, fertility, feast always associates with freedom (in Russian "Svoboda"). Though revolutionaries  of  the 17th year put in word "Svoboda" exactly this meaning.

The square is situated in historic centre of Barnaul. It appeared in 1750s in several years after the town was founded. The cannons of White Guards shot, met Mamontov's  guerrillas, first demonstrators went. Not so many things remind about those great events nowadays. The main New Year tree was established there in 2013, but it turned out that the town grew out of this wonderful but small square.

2. Bliny, Cooked By Mother-Nature

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There is a wonderful creation of nature in Belokurikha-Teshchiny Bliny ( Mother-In-Law Pancakes). Layers pressed against on another, licked into quaint shape by winds. The rock received its name because of resemblance with stack of pancakes. To go to mother-in law (in Russian "teshcha") to eat pancakes is a central topic of Maslenitsa festival. There are rock Chetyre Brata and mountain Tserkovka near it, so there is a full set for celebrating Maslenitsa in separate stone country. It is a joke. In fact all these mountains are the most popular tourist's objects in Belokurikha.

3.Siberian Maslenitsa – Sumptuous Feast

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What is a holiday without a real feast?! Festival "Sibirskaya Maslenitsa" will be held in Altai Kray since 28 February to 1 March, in the limits of program- the first international gastronomic fair "Pir Goroy"(Sumptuous feast). Guests will have the opportunity to buy the best samples of Altayskiy, Sibirskiy, Rossiyskiy and foreign productions, tourists will see spectacular chef's duels and contests of audience recognition.

Hello Spring!


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Photo I.Sidorenko
Photo K. Belousova

Maslenitsa holiday will take place in all towns and villages of Altai Kray. Final chord and the highest note of the festival is the final day of the festival on Sunda.  The burning of a straw effigy is a bright and symbolic action. All the old griefs are burnt, all insults are forgotten, humanity enters in a new phase of life and year: spring comes! 

Information by Evgeniya Maltseva