Tuesday, February 20, 2007

russian cuisine update

I got an email this morning from Russian Cuisine. It describes a fascinaing week long holiday that is celebrated here in Russia. If you ever get the chance to see the movie "Siberian Barber" there is a scene that shows the festival there as well.

Pancake week
The first day of the Pancake week is called "Meeting". The people of one village went to visit those from another one and to show themselves. People gathered at highlands and ice hills. The fire was made and pancake songs were heard far away from the holiday place.

The second day is called "Play beginning". The main show is the noisy and merry siege of snow fortresses, horse race and other joyful competitions. Masked people "Riajenyi" were walking around a village singing funny songs and greeting Maslenitsa. Maslenitsa can be a simple straw sheaf that was decorated little by little while visiting different houses.

The third day is "Sweet tooth" (Lakomka). All the village ate blini (pancakes) with such delight you can't imagine. Sour cream, butter and strawberry jam was kept on a large table right in the center of the village. The mother-in-law invited her son-in-law and daughter to be treated with her most delicious blinis. Everyone praised his blinis. Pot with pancakes was with you all the time and every neighbor was treated with your mouth watering "golden suns".

The fourth day was named "Large Thursday". The revival of sunny days was celebrated by our greatparents. At the same tine Maslenitsa sheaf was left on the hill and everyone added more straw to it. The fifth day is "Mother-in-law's evenings". Just married couples treated with blinis their parents. And kids had fun on ice hills.

The sixth day is the "daughter-in-law's parties". Young daughters-in-laws welcomed all the husband's relatives. The good cheer was accompanied by gifts and warm words. From this time on, the daughter-in-law became an equal family member. This holiday serves as a pretext to find peace of mind with everything and everyone. And at the end, late in the evening, Maslenitsa farewell was celebrated, the fire was set and Maslenitsa was burnt. Bye. bye, Maslenitsa!

The seventh day of Maslenitsa is the "Forgiven Sunday". You should beg pardon to each other for any hurt feelings. Don't forget about this wonderful tradition.


  1. myyyyyyyy MY, that is a lot of to-do about pancakes!

    Sounds like crazy fun!!! =)

    When do you guys leave? (loved the pics yesterday)

  2. we leave around 4 am on the 22nd... and then we get to the states in the evening of the 22nd because we lose time during traveling!