We always enjoy cooking and every year we learn about why we make pancakes in this country because of the need to use up rich foods (eggs cream honey) before the period of Lent(a period of abstinence). So this year we again made some pancakes but looked the same festival is celebrated in some different countries such as Russia & Ukraine.
We cooked biliny and even tried Caviar (not quite Maslenitsa as fish would already have been banned) We all had a go at writing our names using the Russian alphabet (a variation of the Cyrillic alphabet); listened to some Russian folk tales(Uncle Vanya) and even made some Russian flags too.
‘Maslenitsa’ is a week long celebration ahead of Lent it originated as a sun festival, celebrating the imminent end of the winter. The pancakes they make are smaller thicker and called a biliny, its round and yellow like the sun. They have lots of parties and celebrate the coming of spring. One of the traditions that we like is making the Lady Maslenitsa from straw. She is dressed in bright colours andparaded throughout the week but on the last day you can write down all your worries and fears on a piece of paper which you put inside Lady Maslenitsa before it is burnt. The idea being that you start the new year afresh.
The main Church is the known as the Orthodox Church and they have slightly different views and beliefs from the Catholic Churches in the rest of Europe. However like so many things we have far far more in common than we do different and we can have great fun learning and celebrating different cultures and countries.