Another Russian celebration has passed again, without me even knowing! They have far too many celebrations for me to keep up. Anyway, I was told on Saturday, that Sunday was going to be pancake day. “What?! But we already had pancake day a month ago?!!!” Turns out the Julian calendar means that Russian Orthodox have very similar traditions; pancakes 40 days before Easter, but with Easter falling on May 5th!!
11th March – 17th March is known as Maslenitsa; the joyful celebration of spring. Spring did begin this week – they got that right! The week ended yesterday with Forgiveness Sunday, where people ask each other for forgiveness… There was also a market on in the centre of the city, with people selling handmade things like gloves and honey.
The celebration definitely doesn’t seem as important as Women’s Day for example, but people have told me that it’s because Russia was a Pagan country until a few hundred years ago, and that Christian traditions aren’t national holidays like in England, as it wouldn’t be fair to all of the other religions. I always ask my classes about Russian celebrations, and not one has mentioned anything to do with Easter to me! I asked some classes today if they ate pancakes yesterday and of course they all said yes!!!! I’ve also heard that at Easter they don’t even have chocolate eggs, they just paint them.
No Creme Eggs! It’s all right, I don’t like them anyway!