February 21, 2023, 19:06 – BLiTZ – News
Shrovetide is a traditional Russian holiday celebrated at the end of February. It is customary for people to celebrate it with pancakes and mass celebrations. About why pancakes are a symbol of Maslenitsa, learned the BLiTZ.
A week before Lent, Russia celebrates Maslenitsa week, which in 2023 begins on February 20 and ends on February 26. At this time, you can not eat meat, so it is also called “cheese week”.
Why pancakes are a symbol of Maslenitsa
Maslenitsa is a pagan holiday. Pancakes occupy almost the most important place in it. The essence of the holiday is a farewell to the cold winter and a smooth transition to the onset of a warm spring. Pancake in the people means the Sun – yellow, round and hot. Our ancestors believed that together with a pancake they eat a piece of heat and strength of a powerful luminary.
However, there is another point of view: they say that pancakes never symbolized the Sun. First of all, this dish is a memorial and always has been. It became the main attribute of the holiday by mistake of cultural researchers in the 19th century. A solemn festive dish then was brushwood – a thin cookie, which, in its appearance, looked like dry tree branches.
Why pancakes are baked on Maslenitsa
According to one version, the word “Maslenitsa” is based on the Slavic custom of baking pancakes. It is believed that the word pancake came from the word “mlyn” – grind.
Baking pancakes for Maslenitsa is a way to attract the luminary. Thus, people are trying, as it were, to persuade him to shine brighter, so that the cold winter will quickly be replaced by a warm spring.
Since ancient times, baking pancakes has been accompanied by many rituals and fortune-telling. They were prepared from yeast dough – sourdough. One of the interesting customs was associated with baking the first pancake. Baking was dedicated to the ancestors and laid out on a window, roof or grave, or given to the poor. Also, according to the first pancake, they guessed at the betrothed, children and the future.
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