Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Russian Festivals: Maslyanitsa or Pancake Week

When winter ends and spring comes, there is always a festival held for one week before Lent. That week is called, Maslyanista or Pancake week. The festival usually celebrates this week by serving all kind of pancakes (the thin slices that look similar to crepes) and they always have s special ceremony in which a doll known as Maslyanista is built and is burnt down in the bonfire. Whatever of its pieces remains or flies out of the fire, the citizens would then always throw it back to the fire. Later, after the fire ends, they bury the remains under the snow, in some sense; they make the remains act as a fertilizer so the plants and harvest can grow healthy in the spring. The weeks are as they follow.

Monday – “meeting”,

Tuesday – “fun”,

Wednesday – “sweet tooth”,--serving of the pancakes.

Thursday – “feast”---burning of the dolls in the fire.

Friday – “visiting mother-in-law”

Saturday – “visiting sister-in-law”

Sunday – “farewell” “Forgiveness day”—when you go to a certain person whom you wish they can forgive you. Each person confesses their sins, hoping to be relieved from it. And once they’ve made up, they bow and say, “May God forgive you.”


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