Guess what we’re talking about? This is Maslenitsa! And this holiday is loved not only for pancakes but also for its surprising traditions! What’s the origin of Maslenitsa and how do people celebrate it?
Maslenitsa is one of the most ancient holidays in Russia! Nobody can precisely say when was it celebrated for the first time. This holiday has a pagan origin, but now almost all the people living in Russia celebrate it.
Also, Maslenitsa is one of the longest holidays in Russia. Every year it starts on Monday and ends on Sunday, but the precise date always varies depending on Easter date. This year Maslenitsa begins on the 24th of February and ends on the 1st of March. What’s interesting: every day this week has its own meaning! For example, Thursday is a day of fun, on Wednesday and Friday families come together and eat pancakes, and Sunday is a Forgiveness day!
One more tradition which we’ve already mentioned is eating pancakes! Russians enjoy pancakes, or as they’re called in Russia ‘bliny’, with various sauces and fillings like honey, sour cream, meat, eggs, berry jam, etc. Pancakes are the traditional meal of the holiday as they’re made in the shape of the sun. And this is one more reference to spring coming! As you can see, sometimes, Russians really do miss warmth and sun too much, so they try to ‘bring closer’ the first day of spring.
And the final day of Maslenitsa, Sunday is the most interesting! This is the most important day of the whole week, as it symbolizes the end of winter. We warn: the tradition of this day may surprise you, but don’t worry, it’s just a show. This day people burn ‘scarecrow of winter’ to fasten the process of spring coming. Nowadays, there’re special celebrations and festivals in a lot of cities and towns. And burning a scarecrow is always a climax of the whole event!