Maslenitsa is the Russian Sun Festival – a celebration of the end of winter chills and the start of Spring, of warmth,
of hope, of growth.
Maslenitsa is the last week before the onset of Great Lent. During the week of Maslenitsa, meat is already forbidden to Orthodox Christians, and it is the last week during which milk, cheese and other dairy products are permitted, leading to its name of “Cheese-fare week” (Russian: сыропустная неделя) or “Pancake week”. During Lent, meat, fish, dairy products and eggs are forbidden. 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 or crepes). Round and golden, they are made from the rich foods still allowed by the Orthodox tradition that week: butter, eggs and milk. During pagan times, the round and golden shape and color signified praise to the Sun because of pancakes’ resemblance to it.
Maslenitsa activities also include snowball fights, sledding, riding on swings and plenty of sleigh rides. Each day of Maslenitsa has 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.
Celebrate Maslenitsa with One World Cafe:
Russian Blini #1
Russian Blini #2
Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Oladiki (Russian Pancakes)
Ricotta Cheese Pancakes
Ricotta Cheese Potato Pancakes
German Apple Pancake
Russian Zucchini Pancakes
Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Best Buttermilk Pancakes