Voices from Russia

Sunday, 17 March 2013

17 March 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Traditions of Celebrating Maslenitsa

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Traditions of Celebrating Maslenitsa. 2013


On 11 March, Maslenitsa began in Russia… the last seven days before the onset of Lent. Maslenitsa is one of the most exciting, colourful, and lively folk holidays, which, contrary to popular belief, has nothing to do with paganism, but rather has a direct relationship to Orthodox Easter. Archpriest Maksim Kozlov, a professor at the Moscow Theological Academy (MDA), told RIA-Novosti, “The time to celebrate Maslenitsa is tied to Easter, for Maslenitsa, the last week before Lent, begins exactly eight weeks before Easter. In terms of church canons, Maslenitsa is a half-holiday. During Maslenitsa, we don’t eat meat, but you can eat every other non-Lenten food, including dairy products… abstinence on Wednesdays and Fridays is cancelled. During Maslenitsa, services on Wednesday and Friday are particularly long, just like in Lent, with many prostrations. The idea behind the canons is to gradually bring Christians into Lent”. Meanwhile, pancakes, once perceived as a pagan symbol of the sun, with the Christianisation of Rus, became the traditional festive meal in “Cheese Week“, just as kulich and paskha cheese (click here and here for recipes) celebrate Easter, the Resurrection of Christ.

11 March 2013




Tuesday, 21 February 2012

21 February 2012. A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words… Maslenitsa in Kazan… Love STILL Conquers All


Monday, 20 February 2012

20 February 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Everything that You Wanted to Know, But Were Afraid to Find Out, About Bliny

Everything that You Wanted to Know, But Were Afraid to Find Out, About Bliny

Sergei Yolkin



The Russian original had “Pizza” on the box… just thought that you’d like to know that. No doubt, it was to heighten the humour, using a “foreign” food to represent a very “Russian” one.


Maslenitsa is an old Slavic holiday that came out of the old pagan culture, but people still celebrated it after Russia adopted Christianity. The main “faces” of the holiday are the “smiling sun” and bliny.

20 February 2012

Sergei Yolkin



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