By Ewelina Lepionko
Shrovetide or Maslenitsa - Carnival of farewell winter and meeting spring in Moscow.
Maslenitsa also marks the beginning of fasting period of Lent leading to Easter, so it comes with some diet restrictions for Orthodox Christians. With meat dishes already forbidden, Maslenitsa is the last week when milk, cheese, eggs, and dairy are allowed.
This holiday is considered to come from pre-Christian times, when the Slavs were still pagans. Russia’s Maslenitsa festival rings in the passing of winter with traditions, dancing and pancakes.
In the old days Maslenitsa was for the remembrance of the dead. But with time the Russians longing for fun and entertainment turned the sad holiday into jolly Maslenitsa with blini. The rituals of Maslenitsa are very unusual and interesting.