Maslenitsa is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday, celebrated during the last week before the Great Lent( the most important fasting season in the church year in Eastern Orthodox Christianity). Maslenitsa corresponds with the western Christian Carnival.
Every year the Russian-speaking Club organizes Maslenitsa so that international students can learn something new about Slavic culture and enjoy bliny and other delicious meals.
Maslenitsa (derived from maslo, which means butter in Russian) is associated with the tradition of baking pancakes (bliny in Russian). They are essential to the celebration of Maslenitsa. Slavic people used to believe that the hot, round, golden pancakes represent the sun and might help spring come earlier. Bliny may be served with caviar, minced meat, mushrooms, sour cream, or sweet homemade jam and condensed milk!
Maslenitsa celebration is always loud and joyful – it is a way of saying goodbye to winter and welcoming spring. The celebration includes horovod (people dancing in circles, holding hands), riding in horse carriages, building snow castles, and singing traditional songs.
Lady Maslenitsa is built from straw and decorated with pieces of rags so that she looks human. The culmination of the celebration is always the burning of Lady Maslenitsa, which symbolizes the end of “the old life” and the beginning of spring.
Now let’s take a look at the Maslenitsa celebration organized by JCU Russian-speaking Club this year!
This year, more than 200 pancakes with different fillings were sold. The most popular flavors were condensed milk and Nutella; a lot of students also tried pancakes with various flavors of jam.
Students had the chance to not only try the pancakes, but also to enjoy some of the popular Russian songs and learn about the history of the Maslenitsa celebration!
Learn more about different cultures while studying in John Cabot University!
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Class of 2018
Hometown: Moscow, Russia