Maslenitsa, the “Farewell to the Russian Winter”, is one of the most exciting, joyful and tasty festivals of the year. It is celebrated very enthusiastically and flamboyantly all over Russia over a period of 7 days. This ancient pagan celebration, with origins stretching back many centuries, has now become one of Russia’s most popular folk festivals with colorful rites, dances, songs, games and fairs – a festival filled with the beauty, distinctive style and rich variety of traditional crafts, as well as the main culinary delicacy of the season – delectable wheat, buckwheat, oatmeal or maize pancakes – along with many creative variations.
The goal of all these Maslenitsa traditions is to chase the winter away and wake up nature from its long sleep. In olden days, a popular element of Maslenitsa was a straw dummy dressed in woman’s clothes, included in all their celebrations, which was burned on a bonfire on the last day of the week.
Nowadays, the most important Maslenitsa treats are the pancakes. They are made every day from Monday to Sunday; each and every housewife having her own interpretation of the classic recipe.
Back in pagan times, making pancakes was already a tradition in Ancient Rus. The people called on Yarilo, the sun god, to banish the winter; the round golden pancakes were seen as a symbol of the sun.
Each day of the Maslenitsa week has its traditional name, which refers to the activity associated with it. Monday is the “Welcoming in of the Festival”.
Tuesday is “Competition Day”.
This day is dedicated to all kinds of fun contests. Wednesday is “Sweet Tooth Day”. This is a day for treats, first and foremost, pancakes! Thursday is “Party Day”. Friday is “Mother-in-law Evening”, when men go to their mother-in-law’s for a pancake feast. Saturday is “Daughter-in-law’s Day”. Sunday, the last day of the week, is “Forgiveness Day”, when people ask their relatives and acquaintances to forgive them for any past offences and then see off the Maslnitsa week by drining and dancing together.
To introduce our friends to this popular, fun-filled festival, the Cultural Center of the Main Aministration for Service to the Diplomatic Corps under the Russian Foreign Ministry (GlavUpDK) and the Russian Association for International Cooperation are pleased to invite members of the International Women’s Club to celebrate
Maslenitsa with them at 11:00 am on 2nd of March 2022, at 5 Olof Palme Street.
The program will include
Performances by folk dancing ensembles of traditional Maslenitsa entertainments, songs and dances;
A display of clothes inspired by historic folk costumes;
A traditional Russian art and craft market;
master classes in folk crafts;
A prize draw;
And, of course, the main symbol of Maslenitsa – pancakes for all to savor.