Сегодня первый день Масленицы. А вы знаете этот русский праздник?
Today is the first day of Russian Maslenitsa, or Crepe/Butter Week. Do you know this Russian holiday?
Ма́сленица [m’aslinitsa] is the Russian Sun Festival (also known as Butter or Crepe week) – a celebration of the end of winter chills and the start of Spring, of warmth, of hope, of growth. Accompanied by open-air celebrations and tonnes of fun, street festivals, skating, and merrymaking with an eye to awake nature and banish the evil spirits. Crepes (блины) are the main and obligatory dish of the treats as a symbol of the sun. Its history goes back to pre-Christian Russia: the main ritual of Maslenitsa is the burning of the straw figure of the Winter – an echo of pagan rituals. The celebration passes along for the whole week from Monday to Sunday. Every day has its own name and traditions.
Maslenitsa ends with Shrove Sunday according to Christian tradition. It is customary that people ask for everybody’s forgiveness on that day, even without feeling guilty. The phrase “God will forgive you” is said in response. Orthodox believers begin to hold the Lent after Shrove Sunday, which is supposed to be taken with a light heart and a pure soul.
Are you ready to have fun and eat crepes:-)? Learn main Russian Maslenitsa vocabulary with our short video!