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Pagan Maslenitsa tradition in Eastern Slavic countries

Maslenitsa (Russian: Ма́сленица, Ukrainian: Масниця, Belarusian: Масьленіца, Maślenica, also known as Butter Week, Crepe week, or Cheesefare Week), is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday. It is celebrated during the last week before Great Lent—that is, the eighth week before Eastern Orthodox Pascha (Easter). Maslenitsa corresponds to the Western Christian Carnival, except that Orthodox Lent begins on a Monday instead of a Wednesday, and the Orthodox date of Easter can differ greatly from the Western Christian date.

Maslenitsa has its origins in both pagan and Christian traditions. In Slavic mythology, Maslenitsa is a celebration of the imminent end of the winter.

On the Christian side, 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 “Crepe 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.

Nothing special, just pics from our countries which presented how we celebrate Maslenitsa (рус. Масленица, Масляница, укр. Масниця, белор. Масленіца). On Sunday we will burn the doll, represented the Winter. I hope you would enjoy.

from Russia

from Ukraine

from Belarus

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