This weekend we are going to see off Maslenitsa — an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday. It is celebrated during the last week before Great Lent—that is, the seventh week before Eastern Orthodox Pascha (Easter). Maslenitsa has its origins in both pagan and Christian traditions. In Slavic mythology, Maslenitsa is a celebration of the imminent end of the winter. During Maslenitsa meat is already forbidden but milk, cheese and other dairy products are permitted. Furthermore, Lent also excludes parties, secular music, dancing and other distractions from the spiritual life. Thus, Maslenitsa represents the last chance to partake of dairy products and those social activities that are not appropriate during the more prayerful, sober and introspective Lenten season.
The most characteristic food of Maslenitsa is bliny (pancakes). Round and golden, they are made from the rich foods still allowed by the Orthodox tradition: butter, eggs and milk.Maslenitsa activities also include snowball fights, sledding, riding on swings and plenty of sleigh rides. In some regions, each day of Maslenitsa had its traditional activity: one day for sleigh-riding, another for the sons-in-law to visit their parents-in-law, another day for visiting the godparents, etc. The mascot of the celebration is usually a brightly dressed straw effigy of Maslenitsa, formerly known as Kostroma.
On this weekend will be the culmination of the celebration - Lady Maslenitsa is stripped of her finery and put to the flames of a bonfire. Any remaining blintzes are also thrown on the fire and Lady Maslenitsa's ashes are buried in the snow (to "fertilize the crops").
Various events will be held in different districts of the city, almost in all large parks. The most interesting in our opinion will take place in the Summer Garden. We won't tell you what exactly will be shown. But we guarantee that you won't regret the spent time.
In case if you need more information feel free to contact our concierge department (+7 812 326 53 53).
By the way the last day of Cheesefare Week is called "Forgiveness Sunday", indicating the desire for God's forgiveness that lies at the heart of Great Lent. On Sunday evening all the people make a poklon (prostration) before one another and ask forgiveness, and thus Great Lent begins.
If we offend you in any way please accept our sincere apologies!