Carnival-time has been starting in Switzerland this past week and some of our girls took the opportunity to share in a traditional Russian Mardi-Gras known as Maslenitsa; the official festival which signals goodbye to Winter and welcomes in the Spring. Russian Nights in Switzerland had put together a celebration of this event in the beautiful mountain village of Champéry and so, on a glorious Sunday morning, we headed to an alpine idyll for pancakes, traditional dancing and some healthy competition. After a brilliant explanation of the history of Maslenitsa by one of our Belarussians, we watched the celebrations commence and partook in some of the competitions; one of our girls won a prize for naming the most Russian words beginning with M! The girls enthusiastically took to the stage with the community of Champéry, joining in with many of the traditional dances performed at Maslenitsa. It was a fabulous, fun experience for both those who annually celebrate and those of us who had never seen such a festival before, a wonderful reflection of the international atmosphere of both Switzerland and Surval.