Maslenitsa is one of the most popular holidays in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. In addition to the religious overtones of the festivities, the Shrovetide week also has a unique color, traditions that have been created for centuries. How is Shrovetide celebrated on the days of the week, and how should we prepare for each stage of the celebration? Now find out!
Day One - Meeting( Monday)
As the days of carnival are called, few know, especially among the younger generation. However, in this case, it is not the names of the Shrovetide days that are important, but the traditions inherent in this particular period of time. So, what should traditionally happen on the first day of the celebration?
- Traditionally, on Mondays, pancakes start to be cooked, the first of which is given to the poor and the poor.
- People actively go on a visit, it is especially honorable to visit the matchmakers on this day.
- On Monday, the production of stuffed carnival began.
- Also on this day, traditional winter walks began with skating with slides and making snow fortresses.
Traditionally, the first day was considered preparatory and the most modest in terms of popular festivities. During this period, the father-in-law and her mother-in-law sent her daughter-in-law to matchmakers, and soon they themselves went to meet relatives.
- The festive table on the first Shrovetide day usually included pancakes, a variety of pies and fritters, fish dishes. Mistresses on the first Shrovetide day only began to organize celebrations, and therefore the tables rarely broke with food. The festivities usually ended in the evening.
- Children on the first day of celebrations could go to their homes, begging for old clothes. After picking up a bunch of rags, they climbed the mountain and set fire to it, organizing a small fire called a "buttercup".Such fun was so popular that the fires were often bred near each village, which gave the holiday a special entourage.
- Also on this day began and street festivities, which were in the endless winter fun. The stuffed carnival of the carnival was put on a stake and started to be carried in a sleigh throughout the city.
Day two - wins( Tuesday)
This day noisy festivities almost did not happen. The whole celebration was reduced to the bride's wedding. Potential grooms were called into the house for a solemn dinner with pancakes and flat cakes. It was believed that it was during the Shrovetide week that the strongest alliances were made.
Trying to arrange the most magnificent bridesmaids, the parents dreamed of organizing a wedding right after Easter, on the Red Hill, as the alliance concluded during this period was considered extremely strong and happy.
The youth on the second day of the Shrovetide week continued to have fun, rolling around with slides and making snow fortresses. The older generation engaged exclusively in cooking and other household chores.
Day Three - Gourmet( Wednesday)
In the modern world, many of the traditions of the Shrovetide week are already forgotten, but the rite to go on Wednesdays to the mother-in-law for pancakes is still popular.
In addition to his son-in-law, his friends and numerous relatives were invited to the house, and often the celebration of the third day smoothly flowed into new celebrations.
It is also interesting that on the third day of the celebrations the hostess of the house tried to put the maximum variety of pancakes on the table, demonstrating her own culinary skills. For example, on the table appeared wheaten, oat, buckwheat and many other varieties of pancakes.
The richer the third day was the table, the higher was the rating of the mistress of the house.
The fourth day - rampant( Thursday)
On Thursday, the Shrove week was experiencing a turning point, and it was on this day that the most global and magnificent festivities began. For this stage of the celebration, the following features are characteristic:
- in the central square of the city, large-scale celebrations with songs and dances were held;
- is another integral feature of the fourth day - the storming of a snow town, on that day special ritual bonfires were bred everywhere, through which people jumped, symbolically cleansing their souls;
- people continued to visit friends and relatives, and the table became even richer, and the treats - more diverse.
The fourth day of Maslenitsa in Russia was so large in terms of celebration that often during this period all jobs were canceled, and people walked from morning till night. The most important were measures for breeding bonfires of different sizes. Jumping through them, a person could cleanse his soul from sins. In fact, the ritual turned into a very fun, sometimes even a dangerous game. Through the fire, not only the youth jumped, but also all comers.
In some provinces, the rituals were noticeably transformed. So, for example, in some villages of Stary Oskol young people organized traditional leprosy. They locked all the doors in the house, filled the windows with snow, climbed onto the roof and dressed up there in ridiculous clothes. Such fun was common in other cities of the country. It is also traditionally on Thursday, everywhere, carols began to sing, special songs with religious overtones.
Also in churches there were traditional services dedicated to the holiday and the coming great post. However, the services on Thursdays were not very popular, because during this period it was customary to have fun and attend various feasts.
Of course, on this day, continued to bake pancakes, but invited to visit not only relatives, but also all friends and even ordinary passers-by. Since everyone was preparing for the great post, it was considered a good form to eat from the belly, incidentally treating everyone who falls under the arm.
It was on this day in the central squares arranged the most large-scale celebrations, which were calmed down only by Monday.
Day five - mother-in-the-night( Friday)
After the pancake sweets were eaten, a return visit was scheduled for Friday. The mother-in-law went on a visit to her son-in-law and her own daughter, where the main celebrations were held. What traditions exist for this day?
- Pancakes should be baked by the wife of the owner of the house, along the way organizing a chic table for guests.
- For the celebration, not only mother-in-law was invited to the house of her son-in-law, but all her relatives.
- It was believed that the more luxurious and lush the table organizes a man, the more he respects the mother of his wife.
- On this day it was not customary to sit at home, and so everyone went to friends and relatives( hence the second name of the Friday celebration is the guest).
- On this day people continued to have fun in the central squares, but the festivities were not so large. Usually the older generation went to their guests, spent time with their relatives, and only young people were amused in the central squares. There was also a tradition that family people were supposed to spend that day with their closest relatives.
The festive table was traditionally collected by the wife of the owner of the house.
Day 6 - Zolovkin gatherings( Saturday)
This day was considered one of the most modest for the entire Shrovetide week. For a time, large-scale festivities died down, and people tried to spend time either at home or on a visit.
Traditionally, this day a young daughter-in-law invited her husband to her husband's house. If the nurses themselves were not yet married, then they were invited to help unmarried girlfriends mistress of the house. If the sister-in-law were married, then all the other guests were supposed to be married. The girls rarely held large-scale feasts, and for them the feast was only an excuse to gossip and utter about all friends.
Already on this day in some families began to burn stuffed carnival, saying goodbye to the holiday and preparing for the great post. It was also on Saturday in the churches began services dedicated to honoring the memory of ancestors and preparing for the Great Post. It was believed that on Saturday you should visit the church to purify the soul and prepare for the main religious holiday - Easter.
Many girls on this day have traditionally spent fortune-telling fortunes or tried to look into their destiny. Men on this day also could gather in a narrow circle and arrange a feast, but still a large-scale celebration of the sixth day was considered wrong.
Day seven - seeing off( Sunday)
One of the most ambitious festivities took place on the last day of the Shrovetide week. From the very morning people began to celebrate the end of the Carnival and the arrival of spring. What traditions were typical for this festive day?
- People equipped carts with horses and a mass procession followed the Maslenik stuffed, which was taken to the main square.
- It was on this day that the effigy of the Maslenitsa and the burial of her ashes passed.
- Also on Sunday, it was accepted to ask forgiveness from all those around( hence the second name of the celebration - "forgiven Sunday").
- After dinner in the churches, a festive service was organized marking the beginning of Lent.
- All the rest after the celebration of the meal was either burned along with the scarecrow or thrown away.
In fact, the holiday on Sunday, although it was very large, but did not last long. It began in the early morning, when people mass procession moved to the central square to burn stuffed carnival. These stuffed animals were burned everywhere, even in the yards of their own houses or next to the road. The remains of food were thrown into the fire, as well as small images of carnival made of straw.
- After the scarecrow completely burned out, people needed to bury the remaining ash. Burying ashes, the inhabitants of the city said goodbye to all the evil that happened to them this year, and prayed for the future harvest.
- After dinner, festive festivities were curtailed, and people began to prepare for the church service, which was held in any, even the smallest village. Actually, the beginning of such a service marked the end of the Maslenitsa week and the coming of the great post.
- There were and other traditions associated with the last day of celebration, for example, people asked each other for forgiveness. It was believed that on this day, any sin can be forgiven, if you say aloud the words of repentance. That's why people everywhere apologized, and it was considered sinful not to accept them. On the seventh day of the Maslenitsa Week everyone had to forgive each other, not mourning even the worst enemies.
Now the name of every day of the Shrovetide week is known only to the most ardent fans of this holiday. Moreover, now the celebration of each day is limited only to the preparation and absorption of pancakes, and some traditions have completely faded into oblivion. Noisy festivities are organized in modern Russia only on the last day - with the traditional, ritual burning of a scarecrow.
Celebration of Maslenitsa in the city park - video
During the Tsarist and Soviet times, Maslenitsa was repeatedly tried to cancel, considering that some attributes of the celebration directly send us to pagan traditions. However, now Maslenitsa week is considered a symbol of the future Great Lent and Easter. Without this beautiful holiday, the traditions of which have been accumulating for centuries, it is impossible to imagine Russian culture.