This is the only large picture by Vasily Surikov without historical content. Painted in Krasnoyarsk, it was inspired by the artist’s childhood memories. He portrays an amusing game typically played on the last day of Shrovetide. A small town would be built from snow and ice. One group would guard the town while the other attacked. This game possibly came from the Cossacks in remembrance of the subjugation of Siberia. Surikov’s painting is an expression and celebration of the Russian character.