The traditional Slavic festival of Maslenitsa or Pancake week is a favorite time of year for Russians all over the world, and the festival is widely celebrated in many countries.
Maslenitsa 2017 in Toronto source
Maslenitsa 2017 in NYC source
Maslenitsa has a dual ancestry: pagan and Christian. The pagan side, Maslenitsa festival was a heliocentric, celebrating the imminent end of the winter. Coast of Christian Maslenitsa is the last week before Lent. The meat is already forbidden to
Orthodox Christians during the week of Maslenitsa, – week without meat. Meat, fish, dairy products and eggs are forbidden during Lent. In addition, parties, secular music, dance and other “distractions” of the spiritual life are also prohibited, therefore, Maslenitsa represents the last chance to have fun partying.
The essential element of Maslenitsa are blinis, a kind of pancake Russian pagan symbols of the sun. Round and golden, they are made with different ingredients: honey, condensed milk, salmon caviar, rice and meat, cottage cheese.
This year Malenitsa will be from February 12 to February 18.
Day 1: Meet Maslenitsa
Monday is for visiting friends and family, and welcoming guests (and eating blini, of course). “Lady Maslenitsa,” a straw doll to represent winter, is made and dressed in old women’s clothing. She is attached to a pole, paraded around, and placed on the snow hill for the festival.
Day 2: Be young again and spend this day with passion
Tuesday is for winter activities (and more blini)! Sledding, skating, or taking a winter walk.
Day 3: Let your tooth have fun!
“Sweet Day” is Wednesday. You guessed it! More blini! Take a culinary tour. Restaurants and cafes offer special menus with a wide variety of blini to try.
Day 4: Stuff yourself and skate
The fourth day is “Revelry Thursday” – outdoor activities like sleigh rides, sledding, ice skating, and snowball fights are common. And more feasting (Lent is starting soon).
Day 5: Nice day for a stroll
Friday is traditionally a day for mothers and mothers-in-laws. Husbands are visited by their wives’ mothers, while young lads meet the mothers of girls they went sledding with on Tuesday — by the end of Lent, some of these young couples might even be married.
Day 6: One Last Winter Sleigh Ride
On Saturday, there are more family gatherings, parades, street festivals, concerts, dancing, bazaars, games for kids, and …blini!
Day 7: Say Hello to Spring
Forgiveness Day on Sunday is the most important day of celebration. People ask for and give forgiveness. It is a day of unity and joy. The festival closes with the burning of “Lady Maslenitsa” in a bonfire. The cold weather of winter is to be taken away with the smoke.
Don’t miss this holiday in FEFU! Look our photos from last year: