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Russia Travel Guide
"Churchill's 'riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma' remains an apt description of Russia; most outsiders have only a hazy idea of its realities. A composite of the extravagant glories of old Russia and the drab legacies of the Soviet era, it's a country that both befuddles and beguiles.

This is a land of snow and deadly winters, but also of rivers that meander across meadows and a midsummer sun that never sets. Its people, in the words of a Russian proverb, 'love to suffer', yet they also love to party and can be disarmingly generous and hospitable."
Festivals Place to Visit Fast Facts
Maslyanitsa - Pancake Week
"Maslyanitsa, meaning "butter" in Russian, is a traditional carnival celebrated in the spring just before Lent. During this week, people cook pancakes served with honey, caviar, fresh cream and butter. It means that many different rich foods, including butter, will be eaten before the time when Lent comes. The traditional dish is a big round hot pan-cake, with butter.
The pancakes symbolise the sun. The more butter or honey, caviar and other delicious things, which is put on the pancake, the hotter the sun is expected to be in the coming summer.

Russian pancakes are called bliny. They have a slightly sour taste and the thickness of a few playing cards. The light brown bliny are shaped like small suns, accounting for their central role in this pagan festival celebrating the end of winter, when the returning sun brightens the sky.
Nowadays, Maslyanitsa is celebrated at the end of February, as a merry festival with dances, songs, national costumes, attractions for children, hot tea and pancakes served outdoors"

Spas - Harvest Festivals
"In August, the last month of the summer season, when the harvest is sown, is the time usually spent to celebrate the three holidays called ""Spas"".
The first ""Spas"" is called Honey Spas which is celebrated on August 14.
The second ""Spas"" is called Apple Spas which is celebrated on August 19.
The third one is called Nut Spas which is celebrated on August 29.
Spas brings cold dew to lands and meadows. After the first Spas honey is collected, the second Spas brings fresh fruit and the third one, nuts."

The folk holiday called Troitsa is widely celebrated in Russia. On Troitsa the houses are usually decorated with fresh green branches. A maiden's clothes are put on the young birch-trees and songs and dances round the birch-trees take place. The garlands made of birch branches and flowers are put into water for fortune-telling.

White Nights Festival
The White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia is an annual international cultural event. The White Nights Festival consists of a series of classical ballet, opera and music events and includes performances by Russian dancers, singers, musicians and actors, as well as famous international guest stars. The Scarlet Sails celebration is the culmination of the White Nights season, the largest public event anywhere in Russia with the annual estimated attendance about one million people, most of whom are students from hundreds of schools and colleges, both local and international.

Jewel of Russia Festival
The Jewel of Russia Festival is a newly created annual international celebration of music, opera, literature, and arts. It takes place at the Hermitage Museum, Mariinsky Theatre and Museum of Ethnography in St Petersburg, Russia.