What? Haven’t you heard yet? The Pancake Week is in full swing, people! This is how I celebrating:
The origin of this tasty week (or day, depending on the country) is religious. Historically, the purpose of this time was to use up all the dairy you had in possession before the Great Lent. So, the Pancake Week is a pig-out week before the Lent!
As with any significant event in human history, there is a great variety in details of the celebration. We, people, just don’t seem to be able to agree on anything! Only God knows how the main item on the menu remained unchanged irrespective of one’s position on the Globe. Pancakes might save the World one day 😉
In Orthodox Christianity (that’s most of Eastern Europe, former USSR countries), Maslenitsa – the name derived from the word “butter” – is a big deal. We take our time to enjoy the whole week of pancakes! In pagan tradition, Maslenitsa was a celebration to welcome Spring, the end of Winter. In the olden days whole villages would indulge in festivities like winter games of snowballs, sleigh-riding and the culmination burning a huge hay doll, the symbol of Maslenitsa, over the largest bonfire in the center of the village. In later times, the celebration was strongly tied religious ground. Which – I am happy to say – did not take away the fun of it. Here are some of the most famous paintings of Maslenitsa:
Nowadays people have grown less religious and many of us don’t even think of thank the origin of the Pancake Week while gulping on the steaming stacks of pancakes, but the tasty family traditions are still strong. Besides, who would refuse another fun holiday?!