Perhaps it’s because Ukrainians are finally seeing off the long, cold, and oppressive winter but people flock to Maslyana celebrations across Kyiv and beyond. You too can join in the celebration this year from 28 February until 2 March!
Close to Your Place
Expocentre of Ukraine (VDNH)
(Akademika Hlushkova 1, M Vystavkoviy Centre)
28 February – 2 March at 12.00
The most accessible in terms of location for Kyiv dwellers is the celebration of Maslyana held at Kyiv’s Expocentre also known as VDNH. With free admission, the three-day event is usually attended by thousands of visitors every year. Mostly people come here to drink hot drinks such as mulled wine, medovukha (honey vodka) and hot beer while consuming tonnes of varenyky and pancakes with caviar, mushrooms, salmon, and other fillings. After the delicious treat, many visitors go on to attend various ethnic master-classes and folk dancing. On 2 March at 16.00, a scarecrow of straw will be burned to signal to spring where to call on first.
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Kyiv Rus Park (Kopachiv Village, 34km from Kyiv)
1–2 March at 10.00
Spring starts with Maslyana – an ancient holiday that takes us back to the times of Kyiv Rus. In Kopachiv Village you’ll see the old traditions of Maslyana celebrations brought to life in the 21st century. Be prepared to witness knights jousting, take part in sledge rides, and many other things native to those times. The highlight of the event is the pancakes, complete with various fillings and homemade honey. Also, Maslyana is famous for its round dances and jumping over fire. People believe those who do it will be healthy for the rest of the year. Later in the evening there will be a fire show and fireworks to conclude the event.
Admission: 100hrv – adults, 50hrv – senior citizens, 10hrv – school kids, free – preschool
Pancakes with Ostriches
Ostrich Valley (Yasnohorodka Village, Podlesna 32)
1–2 March at 12.00
Pancakes prepared from ostrich eggs naturally differ in taste and size and are worth trying. In addition to the unique pancakes, the venue also offers ostrich fillings for those pancakes adding a truly interesting flavour to the traditional Maslyana. Apart from food there will be a Pillar of Happiness where you can make a wish, various contests, attractions, and the traditional jumping over fire on the list of entertainment for guests. At the end of the day, the crowd will say goodbye to winter symbolically setting the scarecrow of Marena, a mythological character, on fire.
Admission: 40 – 60hrv
The Last Week of Gluttony
Museum in Pyrohovo (Pyrohovo Village)
1–2 March at 12.00
As Maslyana is associated with eating and other ancient traditions, why not celebrate in a lovingly recreated historic environment. All of the age-old traditions will be brought together at Pyrohovo Museum, which preserves the look and feel of Ukrainian villages from across Ukraine. Craftsmen will teach visitors various crafts, chefs will share secrets about traditional recipes, while those who come to be entertained can enjoy various sports and activities such as balancing on log contests, horse-riding, strength competitions, and various speed eating contests. At the conclusion of the day, guests can take part in burning a scarecrow effigy of the “Crippled Grandfather”, which is said to cleanse your soul of all negativity and negative influences.
Admission: adults – 30hrv, children – 15hrv
Spivoche Pole (Yanvarskoho Povstanya)
1–2 March at 10.00
This year, Russkoe Radio decided to celebrate Malsyana with a really big, two-day concert featuring Lavika, Vitaliy Kozlovskiy, Neangely, Erica, Natalya Valevska, Iryna Bilyk and many others. Apart from the pop acts the traditional Maslyana entertainment will be provided including a pancake making master-class, treats for everyone and a little festival of folk bands. The organisers are allocating a separate area dedicated to children’s entertainment with lots of fun acts targeted at the youngest visitors.
Holiday Inn Kiev
Holiday Inn Kiev joins in the celebration of Maslyana offering its clients light, fluffy, and tasty pancakes. A 250 -gram portion of pancakes flavoured with various ingredients will cost you only 50hrv so you’ll surely satisfy your hunger. There are traditional, zucchini and apple pancakes on offer so as crepes with meat, chicken, salmon, mushrooms and crepe suzette. The offer is valid from 24 February until 2 March.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv Podil
Maslyana is a time when we can stop thinking about waistlines and let ourselves enjoy tasty homemade pancakes for a whole week without any guilt. Throughout the week you can try seven delicious pancake dishes at Starokievsky restaurant and Café 17 at Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv Podil. Diners will love the pancake pouches with mascarpone and red caviar; for vegetarians – there are pancakes with eggplant, pepper-tomato, and yoghurt herb dip or warm pancakes filled with mushroom ragout, topped with tasty cheddar cheese. Meat eaters will be delighted by pancake rolls with minced lamb, coriander and cucumber herb sauce. Fish-fanciers could try rolls with crème cheese and smoked salmon, served with sour crème, lettuce mix and lime. Of course, all those with a sweet tooth should not miss the chance to taste blini with caramel crème, bananas and caramelised nuts or blini filled with vanilla crème, arranged on caramelised orange sauce. The offer is valid from 24 February until 3 March.
Jumping over the fire:
First, fill your stomach with a couple of medovukhas – this honey-based alcohol gives you superpowers! And, your burns won’t hurt so much should you fail your mission.
Second, take a run up and launch your body as high as possible. Landing might be a more difficult task because of the fuel you consumed immediately prior your jump. If you detect a sort of burned chicken smell, take a look at the mirror – you might have just been treated to a free haircut as part of the deal.
Third, having cleared the fire with all parts in tact, be sure your life is changed for the better!
Baba’s Best DIY Maslyana Pancakes:
250ml (1c) milk (whole milk works best)
500 grams (2c) flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
700ml boiled water: 500ml warm and 200ml boiling
Preparation: Mix all dry ingredients together. Add the 500ml of warm water. Mix with a hand blender. Add milk and continue mixing. Add the 200ml of boiling water. Let the mixture sit for five minutes. Meanwhile, heat your frying pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs to the bowl and mix again. Pour about 75ml (¼c) into the pan, and let cook through. Once the edges begin to lift, flip over. Repeat and then eat.
Possible fillings: anything! Be creative!
by Vadym Mishkoriz