It has long been in Russia to celebrate a merry, noisy Shrovetide - bake pancakes, drive round dances, and finally, burn a scarecrow, saying goodbye to a long winter. Maslenitsa is a Slavic holiday with pagan rituals, which is celebrated the whole week before Lent. This holiday symbolizes the entry into force of the bright spring and farewell to a long and painful winter. Each day of the Pancake Week has its own name and traditions of celebration, in which we will understand in this article, and also learn the origin of the beloved holiday of many.

On Pancake Day pancakes in a special honorOn Pancake Day pancakes in a special honor

Maslenitsa: Traditions and customs

Bright joyful holiday Maslenitsa originated in pagan Russia, when the Slavs worshiped many deities, and continued in the Christian tradition, retaining some elements of ancient pagan rituals. The fact is that the traditional celebration of the arrival of spring coincided with the "Carnival of the Christians": the week before the beginning of Lent. Then these two holidays were very well combined, and the tradition has been preserved even now.
Shrovetide has pagan rootsShrovetide has pagan roots
Today, like centuries ago, Maslenitsa is one of the favorite festivals for people of any age. Every year merry children and adults flooded the Shrovetide Square of all small settlements and large cities, noisy fairs with bright booths and brilliant hot samovars unfold, and the traditional ritual of burning stuffed animals completes the holiday. So, burning a straw doll, we see off the winter and all the troubles with it.

Why are pancakes baked on carnival?

Pancakes have always been an indispensable and basic pancake treat. According to one version, pancakes symbolized the sun and were baked in honor of the god Yarilo. There is also a more pragmatic version: before Great Lent, believers were already forbidden to eat meat, and the main dish, as well as oil pancakes, became the symbol of the holiday this week. Hence the name came to us: Maslenitsa. Pancakes for Maslenitsa are baked by all hostesses. These hot round suns became the main holiday treat in every home.

When is Maslenitsa celebrated?

The beginning of the Maslenitsa annually shifts, depending on the day of the beginning of Lent. Every day of the week of the holiday is traditionally held in a certain way: on Monday they celebrate Maslenitsa, have fun all the time, wake up, eat pancakes with stuffing and treat guests,and on Sunday, Pancake Day is already seen off, reconcile with their loved ones and burn an effigy.
How to make the right stuffed Shrovetide
Cheese week, and this is how the holiday is called, the Slavs see off icy days and meet the long-awaited spring since pagan times. This week for believers is the last opportunity to take a walk from the heart and eat from the belly before Lent. Doctors, however, do not advise to follow the ancestors' wishes and to be moderate this holiday week: you should not overeat pancakes, as you can gain extra pounds.
Maslenitsa is famous for pancakesMaslenitsa is famous for pancakes
This week, the church advises to give up or reduce meat consumption, in order to prepare yourself for Lent. It is believed that it is worth paying more attention to reconciliation with family and friends: you should ask for forgiveness for your misdeeds, pay more attention to your family and friends, because they get the most from us. It is also necessary to go to reconciliation, if you are offended, to understand and forgive a person.
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Each year, the Carnival dates change, depending on the date of fasting. The main character of the holiday is the effigy of Maslenitsa,it is a symbol of a dying and regenerating deity, a pagan symbol of fertility.

What do they call the days of Shrovetide?

Mondays are called "Meetings." Wives for the whole day are poisoning their parents to help with the housework. Everyone begins to bake pancakes, the first of which is given to the poor to mention the dead. On the same day, the effigy of Shrovetide is made of straw, which is carried around the village all day. In the evening, the whole family gathers at the table.
Tuesday - "Litters". Street festivities begin. Young build snow and ice fortresses, take them by storm, put on funny masks. They bring pancakes to the festivities, treat friends and acquaintances. It was on this day of the week that bride bridal shows were held to celebrate the wedding after the Post.
Wednesday - "Gourmet." Mother-in-law invite sons in pancakes. The festive table is prepared abundant, whence the proverb: “Shrovetide-confection of money in the forest”. Thus, a positive attitude was shown to the husband of the daughter and attention was paid.
Maslenitsa. Day three - Gourmand!
And on Thursday, you can start the "Great rampant." Festivities with might and main: riding on ice slides and horses, swings, carnivals, noisy feasts.A scarecrow on a wheel is carried along the streets, competitions in force, fistfights are organized. From this day the Wide Maslenitsa begins, all work stops. The main message of the day is to throw out the negative energy accumulated during the winter. Therefore, on this day, snow towns are captured, they set fires and jumped over them, accompanying this whole action with songs. The day ended with a hearty dinner.
On Maslenitsa always welcome guestsOn Maslenitsa always welcome guests
Friday is considered the "Tyschiny evening". Sons of law call their favorite mothers-in-law to visit and treat them to pancakes. And already the son-in-law shows his location to his wife’s mother.
Saturday - "Zolovki gatherings." Young daughters-in-law invite their husband's sisters and give them some presents.
And the last day as the culmination of the whole week is “Forgiveness of Sunday”, preparation for the Great Lent. In the temples of the evening service, the rite of forgiveness is performed by the abbot asking for forgiveness from the parishioners. All believers, bowing to each other, also ask for forgiveness, and answer the request: "God will forgive." You also need to apologize to family and friends at home.
Russian Maslenitsa / Russian Maslenitsa
On this day, it is customary to commemorate the departed, to visit them at the cemetery. On the same day we went to the bath.All the uneaten food was also burned and the dishes were washed thoroughly. And at the end of the day a scarecrow was burned, scattering its ashes through the fields. This ceremony is a kind of symbol, a farewell to everything bad and old, and a new mood, preparation for spring, a new pore. Today, not all the rituals and traditions of Maslenitsa are strictly observed, but in any home there are always hot pancakes on the table on Maslenitsa. As the editors of uznayvse.ru notes, the great holiday is still popular and loved!

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