Russian Shrovetide: Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring With Lent in Middle

Published March 2nd, 2019 - 09:17 GMT

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.

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A performer in a scary mask entertains the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

A performer in a scary mask entertains the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

A woman dressed in a traditional costume cares for farm animals in an enclosure set up for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

A woman dressed in a traditional costume cares for farm animals in an enclosure set up for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

Performers in scary masks entertain the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

Performers in scary masks entertain the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

Performers dressed in traditional costumes sing and dance during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

Performers dressed in traditional costumes sing and dance during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

Performers in scary masks entertain the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. 
Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

Performers in scary masks entertain the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

Performers dressed in traditional costumes sing and dance during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

Performers dressed in traditional costumes sing and dance during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

A picture taken on March 1, 2019 shows the decorations for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

A picture taken on March 1, 2019 shows the decorations for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

A picture taken on March 1, 2019 shows the decorations for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

A picture taken on March 1, 2019 shows the decorations for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

A performer in a scary mask entertains the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
A woman dressed in a traditional costume cares for farm animals in an enclosure set up for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers in scary masks entertain the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers dressed in traditional costumes sing and dance during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers in scary masks entertain the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. 
Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers dressed in traditional costumes sing and dance during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
A picture taken on March 1, 2019 shows the decorations for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
A picture taken on March 1, 2019 shows the decorations for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
A performer in a scary mask entertains the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
A performer in a scary mask entertains the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
A woman dressed in a traditional costume cares for farm animals in an enclosure set up for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
A woman dressed in a traditional costume cares for farm animals in an enclosure set up for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers in scary masks entertain the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers in scary masks entertain the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers dressed in traditional costumes sing and dance during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers dressed in traditional costumes sing and dance during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers in scary masks entertain the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. 
Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers in scary masks entertain the public during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers dressed in traditional costumes sing and dance during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
Performers dressed in traditional costumes sing and dance during the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow on March 01, 2019. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
A picture taken on March 1, 2019 shows the decorations for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
A picture taken on March 1, 2019 shows the decorations for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
A picture taken on March 1, 2019 shows the decorations for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP
A picture taken on March 1, 2019 shows the decorations for the Shrovetide spring festival outside the Kremlin in Moscow. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP