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Sofia Solomennikova | profile | all galleries >> Maslenitsa, or Cheesefare Week tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Maslenitsa, or Cheesefare Week

Maslenitsa (Russian: Ма«сленица, Ukrainian: Ма«сляниця, Belarusian: Ма«сьленіца), also known as Butter Week, Pancake week or Cheesefare Week, is a Russian religious and folk holiday. It is celebrated during the last week before Great LentÑthat is, the seventh week before Pascha (Easter). Maslenitsa corresponds to the Western Christian Carnival, except that Orthodox Lent begins on a Monday instead of a Wednesday.
The most characteristic food of Maslenitsa is bliny (Russian pancakes), popularly taken to symbolize the sun. Round and golden, they are made from the rich foods still allowed by the Orthodox tradition: butter, eggs and milk.
Maslenitsa also includes masquerades, 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 Lady Maslenitsa, formerly known as Kostroma.
As the culmination of the celebration, on Sunday evening, Lady Maslenitsa is stripped of her finery and put to the flames of a bonfire.

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. At Vespers on Sunday evening, all the people make a poklon (prostration) before one another and ask forgiveness, and thus Great Lent begins in the spirit of reconciliation and Christian love. Another name for Forgiveness Sunday is "Cheesefare Sunday," because for devout Orthodox Christians, it is the last day on which dairy products may be consumed until Pascha. Fish, wine and olive oil will also be forbidden on most days of Great Lent. The day following Cheesefare Sunday is called Clean Monday, because everyone has confessed their sins, asked forgiveness, and begun Great Lent with a clean slate.
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My small report is made on Forgiveness Sunday, the last day of Maslenitsa.
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday
Maslenitsa!!! Forgiveness Sunday