Nationality: Russian Armenian
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/4/2020
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Russian, Armenian
Translation: Butter Week
Description: This is a spring equinox pancake holiday. During the festival everyone eats pancakes, burns dolls made of hay (effigies). The burning of the dolls is mostly done in villages. They also jump over a pit of fire. Maslenitsa is a Pagan holiday. The holiday is a way of celebrating the coming of spring and a way to sacrifice to the gods for a fruitful spring/rest of the year.
Background Information: It is a Russian and Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday. It is celebrated the last week before Lent.
Context: The informant told me this holiday during a video call in which I asked her to tell me about a Russian holiday that she knows about.
Thoughts: As a religious holiday I think it is celebrated to prepare for lent and to get ready for the spring. Russia has had a long history of war, government overturnings, famines, etc. I think this holiday was made as a way to ensure a safe and healthy year. As a pagan tradition, I think it is interesting to observe its lasting effects to the present day. It shows that life hasn’t become simpler and that people are still trying to ask for prosperity and peace.