Real Russia Blog

Russian Holidays, Part 2: The beginning of the Great Lent

Russian Holidays, Part 2: The beginning of the Great Lent

On Sunday, Russian's reached the end of their week long celebrations of 'Maslenitsa' – and begun their Great Lent in Russia –

'Maslenitsa' festival ran from the 24th February to the 2nd March and it is a celebration for Russian’s to say “goodbye” to winter and “hello” to spring. It is celebrated to mark the end of the cold weather, and the start of the warm weather that the spring can bring – It is more commonly known as the Russian Sun Festival, and it signifies hope and growth to all Russian’s.

Throughout the festival, Russian’s take part in many celebrations, the most significant of which is the making and eating of pancakes. The pancakes themselves symbolize the sun, which again encourages the warmth of the spring weather.

Many of the Russian staff in our company celebrated the 'Maslenitsa' festival and currently many orthodox Russian's are beginning their Great Lent that will run for 40 days. Throughout this time they must abstain from many types of food set out by an orthodox calendar.

Whilst, in the rest of Europe, there are 'Shrove Tuesday' Pancake celebrations today, also to use up the last of the eggs and sugar in preparation for lent to begin – If you are celebrating 'Shrove Tuesday', why not try some traditional Russian blini pancakes –

Our Co-Founder, Irina Watkins, who was born and raised in Russia, has kindly provided us with recipes that have been used as traditional Russian pancakes over the last week in their 'Maslenitsa' celebrations.

If you are celebrating your own Pancake day in Europe then take a look at the post-it notes on the right and have fun trying some traditional Russian pancakes for yourself!

There are also some typical Russian fillings for the pancakes that we have included for you to try as well!

If you celebrated 'Maslenitsa' or have discovered any great pancake recipes, feel free to share them with us on facebook, or twitter too!

If you are interested in traveling to Russia to experience Russian' culture, take a look at our Moscow and St Petersburg tours, or contact us if you would like to speak to our Russian specialists about arranging a trip.