Maslenitsa: traditions of celebration

Maslenitsa: traditions of celebration

Maslenitsa is one of the most ancient Slavic holidays, which begins eight weeks before Easter and lasts for a week. It is a time of reconciliation, seeing off the winter and preparation for the Great Lent.

Important attributes of the holiday are butter and cheese. Traditionally, the main dish during the festive week is pancakes. Pancakes are a ritual dinner for commemoration of the dead relatives, a treat for guests. Pancakes are usually eaten with melted butter, sour cream, honey or jam, with anything but meat.

There is no single tradition of celebrating Maslenitsa in Belarus, festive rituals are different. Each of the days of the holiday has its unique name and custom of celebration. 

The holiday is always accompanied by dances, songs, laughter and fun. The variety of entertainment is impressive. Participation in festive games was always taken seriously. There was a belief that those who do not participate will not have prosperity. But before the beginning of the fun, it was necessary to observe a special rite. For this rite people make a scarecrow, which then was burned publicly. 

Як святкавалі нашы продкі Масленіцу?

According to peasant traditions, the last day of Maslenitsa is called the “Forgiveness Sunday”. On this day you are expected to apologize to everyone for all troubles and grievances that had accumulated over the whole year.

MORE: Where to celebrate Maslenitsa 2018 in Minsk?