Today the Orthodox mark beginning of Maslenitsa (Pancake week). Maslenitsa is ancient Christian holiday, the ritual of seeing off winter and meeting of spring.
Maslenitsa is celebrated during the last week before the Great Lent that is the seventh week before Easter.
Maslenitsa is characterized by pancakes. Round, golden and hot pancakes symbolize the sun. People thought if they eat such pancakes they eat a piece of warmth and power of the sun.
Maslenitsa lasts the whole week- Pancake week .
Monday is called “meeting”. This day everything is being prepared for the holiday. People start cooking pancakes. First pancakes are given to poor people.
Tuesday is called “zaigrash” (start paying). This day funny and jolly game are played.
Wednesday is called “gourmand”. People cook pancakes, invite and treat guests.
Thursday – “festivities”. From this day Maslenitsa is marked in full volume.
Friday - “mother-in-law evening”. This day sons-in-law invite mothers-in-law and treat them with pancakes.
On Saturday -“sister-in-law gathering”. Young wives invite their sisters-in-law and relatives of husband.
The last day of Pancake Week is called "Forgiveness Sunday". This day people confess their sins, ask forgiveness, and begin Great Lent.
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