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Maslenitsa 2016 - Rockefeller Greenhouse in Cleveland

Maslenitsa 2016
Rockefeller Greenhouse in Cleveland
For Russian Cultural Garden
March 13, 2016

The Cleveland Russian Cultural Garden hosted its second annual Maslenitsa celebration at the Rockefeller Greenhouse.

Cleveland Russian Cultural Garden Maslenitsa sign


The warm and rainy weather moved the festivities inside so the snow games that are typical of Maslenitsa were missing but the fun, food and spirit were not.

Maslenitsa has its origins in both pagan and Christian traditions. In Slavic mythology, Maslenitsa is a celebration of the imminent end of the winter. It has been compared to Mardi Gras or Carnival.

The event was also a fund-raiser put on by the Russian Cultural Garden committee. The Russian Cultural Gardens is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to promoting the Russian Heritage and Russian cultural influence in America. The Russian Cultural Gardens has a prominent goal of building the Russian Cultural Garden as a part of the Cultural Gardens of Cleveland in the Rockefeller Park. Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/russiangarden.

Russian Cultual Garden committee members and Maslenitsa workers - Anna Mata, Svetlana Stolyarova, Olga Konkova, Paula Menguini, Natalia Khoretonenko, Varvara Boryushkina, 
Irina Vinogradsky and Boris Vinogradsky

Anna Mata, Svetlana Stolyarova, Olga Konkova, Paula Menguini, Natalia Khoretonenko, Varvara Boryushkina, Irina Vinogradsky and Boris Vinogradsky


The most characteristic food of Maslenitsa is bliny (pancakes or crepes).

Pans of bliny at Maslenitsa

Pans of bliny at Maslenitsa


During pagan times, the round and golden shape and color signified praise to the Sun because of pancakes' resemblance to it.

Bliny face at Maslenitsa


Volunteers Vera Astreika, Victoria Kabo, Tatiana Krilova and Bob and Julia Bolton worked hard on the bliny station.

Judges Ken Kovach, Sheila Crawford, Debbie Hanson, Erika Puussaar and Bob Rotatori sampled and rated the bliny.



Bliny at Maslenitsa

Bliny contest plate at Maslenitsa

Bliny contest judges

Bliny contest judges

One of the Best Bliny winners

One of the Best Bliny winners


Another contest was for the most traditional babushka.



Best Babushka Contest ladies

Best Babushka Contest ladies

Best Babushka Contest winner

Best Babushka Contest winner


The Greater Cleveland Russian Chorus, aka the Cuyahoga Cossacks, strolled through the Greenhouse and sang traditional Russian folk songs.



Greater Cleveland Russian Chorus

Greater Cleveland Russian Chorus



Because of the weather the games were moved indoors. In this game kids could win candy by answering questions (in Russian).



Maslenitsa kids games


Young people also performed on the violin and some acrobatic gymnastics.



Boy playing violin at Maslenitsa

Girl doing acrobatics at Maslenitsa


The mascot of the celebration is usually a brightly dressed straw effigy of Maslenitsa, formerly known as Kostroma.

Maslenitsa Kostroma

Becuase the event was indoors the Kostroma was not set on fire but sparklers were attached and lit. A song was sung and children circled around it. Bye Bye Winter.



Kostroma being lit at Maslenitsa

Kostroma being lit at Maslenitsa

Kostroma being lit at Maslenitsa

See some of the people and coloirful costumes at the 2016 Maslenitsa

Congratulations to the leaders of the Russian Cultural Garden and the Maslenitsa committee for a terrific event.

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Maslenitsa 2016 People Page



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