Traditional festivals and events


Christmas in Vitoslavlitsi (the open air Wooden Architecture Museum) - Walk with jesters; singing of cult and festival songs, Christmas stories, round dances, fortune-telling. Winter sleighing, skating and sledding. Traditional Rusian games and amusements; walking on stilts, a man’s traditional wrestling: arm wrestling.

Winter folklore holiday “Sviatki v Vitoslavlitsakh” (Christmas-tide) - Christmas-tide ceremonies, performed by Novgorod folklore groups, trade handicraft fair, traditional games, sledding, ringing of bells. 

Maslenitsa” (the beginning of March) - Maslenitsa is a traditional festival tracing back to pre-Christian times which occurs during the week before Easter. People say goodbuy to boring ol' winter and welcome the long-awaited spring. The merry festival lasts the whole week and is accompanied by some very beautiful old rituals. For instance, one eats pancakes ("blinis") with butter, honey and jam throughout the whole of Maslenitsa. And these are not the little ones one may find somewhere in Europe. Russian pancakes are usually up to 30 cm, and even 50 cm, in diameter. On the last day of Maslenitsa, a strow-man is usually burnt - a symbol of winter which is lamented in jest with old folk songs.  Horse-riding, big trade fair with Russian pan-cakes, theatrical performance with the assistance of accordion players and jesters. Folk games and amusements. 

Easter (in the open air Wooden Architecture Museum “Vitoslavlitsi”) –Roll-furthest and knock-it-out games, played with painted eggs, Easter week surprises, ringing of bells. 

Interregional Festival of Historical Reconstruction “Lord Veliky Novgorod”. In the festival programme: historical fencing tournaments, bow-shooting, horseback tournaments, bugurt (mass tilt), historical costume contests, fire theatres, folk groups performances, medieval music concerts.

International Children’s festival of Classic Music named after Rakhmaninov- International piano competition, child concerts, Masters Concerts, master classes of leading musicians. Under the aegis of the UNESCO. 

Festival of Slavonic Alphabet and Culture- St. Sophia Cathedral-liturgy and public prayers for St. Cyril and St. Methody. Master concerts with some of the best Performers from Russia and other countries.

International festival of Folklore and Crafts the open air Wooden Architecture Museum “Vitoslavlitsi”. Performances of Folklore groups from the Novgorod region and guests from other cities and countries. Traditional Novgorod games and amusements. 

Holiday of Ivan Kupala (night from 6 to 7 July)-Young people gather on the banks of the Ilmen Lake, make bonfires, jump over them to purify themselves. The holiday program includes: circle dancing; games and amusements, and traditional Russian meal in the end. 

The City Day (June, 11-12) –Theatrical performances on the central squares and river embankment. Concert programs of Novgorod folklore groups. Sports shows. Child games and amusements. Fair on the ancient market place, Jaroslav-the-Wise’s Court.

International Festival “Theatrical Veche – the Open Space” In the festival programme: show of theatrical performances, performances on the open-air grounds. Performance of the theatrical groups from Russian and abroad.