Maslenitsa in Belarus
From February 20 to 26, 2023, Orthodox believers in Belarus celebrate the Maslenitsa week. Maslenitsa precedes the Great Lent. Lent is the longest fast in Christianity and the period preceding the main Orthodox holiday, Easter.
Maslenitsa is a bright and colourful celebration at the end of winter which brings joy to little ones and adults alike. Games, songs, dances, merry laughter and noise are its main signs. The name “Maslenitsa” is associated with the word “butter” (maslo) in the Russian language. Traditionally in this week was forbidden to eat meat, but we can eat milk and dairy products.
Butter and cheese – these are the obligatory attributes of the holiday. Besides, what is the Maslenitsa week without blini (pancakes)? During the Maslenitsa week the blini acquired a truly royal value – they tried to eat them every day. Melted butter, sour cream, honey, jam, fish, caviar, cabbage – everyone wrapped everything he liked in blini. Except of meat, of course.
During the Maslenitsa until now in cities and towns there are held festivals, many blini with all sorts of fillings are baked. The Maslenitsa traditions are aimed at saying goodbye to winter and welcoming the spring. The Maslenitsa festivities culminate with the burning of a straw doll at a bonfire, accompanied by joyful cries and songs.
On 24-26 February in all the districts of Minsk, Maslenitsa markets will be organized, blini will be baked and spring will be welcomed.