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When Did Maslenitsa Arrive?

For those who are looking dates in the Christian calendar, it's simple and there are no questions. However, those who are still trying to comprehend, to question, for example, cannot understand how the same holiday every year "run" in the gap of a few weeks. Moreover, Farewell to Winter – Maslenitsa (Butter Week) our Slavic peoples celebrated not hundreds, but thousands of years, long before the advent of Liturgical calendars.

What does Maslenitsa mean and why it is so joyful and fun was celebrated by our ancestors?

Ten years ago I and my friends knew almost nothing about this holiday. But since we decided to start to revive our national holidays, every year we discover something new. We have looked at a calendar at first and then celebrated this holiday. Then we started to celebrate Maslenitsa in the last week of February. But Peter the Great Calendar exists only three hundred years and February has nothing to do with it.

When it is necessary to see off winter and to meet spring? It is a natural holiday and it should be associated with some natural phenomenon. If spring won the winter, it is probably happened on the day of the vernal equinox, when the day overcomes the night and starts to grow steadily! And this is in the 20th of March. And looking in different books, we came to the conclusion that Maslenitsa ends on the spring equinox!

So we do in Luchistoe Family Homestead Settlement (Crimea).


We started Maslenitsa with thanks to winter for the snow, for the holiday fun, for giving a rest to Earth. We danced around the Lady Maslenitsa. Once we played sketch from Slavic myths about how Morena Svarogovna cheated Yarilo Red Sun and chained him to a rock, but the Swan saw her actions and revived and saved the Red Sun. According to the legend, the darkness defeated light and day defeated night.

There is practically no snow in March in the Crimea, so we're playing a Pogorelo game: spring team vs. winter team. After that we farewell to winter and light a fire. Sometimes we arrange comic fisticuffs on a log.


It's fun to jump over the fire and sing: “Burn burn brightly, so that it doesn't fade”. We do not burn the Lady Maslenitsa (we feel sorry for Lady Maslenitsa) and just put it under the tree on the common land of our settlement.


I am glad that a lot of people in cities celebrate Maslenitsa. It is a pity, however, that it usually looks like average pop concert. In the settlements people are celebrating Maslenitsa with all the heart and soul.

Svetlana Uslova, Luchistoe Family Homestead Settlement (Crimea)

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