Archive for March, 2009

First spring day’s snow

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Maslenitsa

Russian carnival, like Mardi Gras. Maslenitsa week began as a pagan ritual and has since been absorbed into the Eastern Orthodox religion, signals the exit of winter and heralds the coming of spring. The name of the festival has its roots in the Russian word for butter, “maslo.”

Blini are Russian pancakes, and they are essential to the celebration of Maslenitsa. Said to symbolize the sun—being warm, round, and golden. Bonfires will be lit and a straw personification of Maslenitsa may be burned during the festivities in order to say farewell to winter.

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