Monday, 23 February 2009

Maslenitsa Week

Today marks the 1st day of Maslenitsa or better known as Pancake Week. It's a pagan ritual/festival which Russians have practised for centuries to celebrate the nearing end of winter and prelude to the Great Lent for the Orthodox Christians.

This year, this holiday begins from 23 Feb till 1 March with programs all across the city. In past activities, there used to be wrestling matches between a drunken bear (plied with lots of vodka) and the tamer. There was also the burning of bonfires and Lady Maslenitsa (made out of straw). Verrrrry paganistic! LOL

Billboards all over the place for Maslenitsa!

The center of the celebration is at Vasilyevsky Spusk, behind the St.Basil's Cathedral. Turkish and I were very excited since we've never been to this carnival (not even once in my 7 years living here). We read about it on the papers last week so despite the killing cold, and drop to -16C with wind chills.. we marched to the Red Square with a crowd of thousands.

I didn't believe all were headed for bliny (Russian pancake).

Roads were blocked, underground passageways were closed and I was freezing. We had to en route to God knows where because all I remembered was shivering under my coat. I didn't think I would enjoy anything at all. The sight of OMOH troops, truckloads of Militias and squadrons of uniform units made me wonder if they really needed to guard us.. eating blinis.

Manezhnaya entrance was blocked out

I guess we didn't realise that today was also the Defender of the Fatherland Day to commemorate the Russian military history, the war heroes and men who fought for their beloved Mother Russia. There were some demonstrations going on nearby Kremlin on political issues (that explains the tight security). And so we went on home.

Fuck the Maslenitsa. I made us some pancakes instead LOL

We'll try to go there within the week again

Turkish reminded me that last year, we celebrated Maslenitsa in my apartment with Boss and Pisa. I found the post about it. Hahahahaahaa it's a shame that my pancake stack was so short.. I conclude that Pisa sure could make blinis! Those were the good days.. good ol' days :)


aManda玲慧 said...

It's time for some pancake :)

Gorgeous Ol' Eve Loves Vanilla. You? said...

Go to Vasilyevsky Spusk tomorrow (Thursday)!
They are going to break world record for making the highest stack of blinis! :)

YannMay said...

I've been wanting to experience this pancake festival, so thanks for the heads-up here! The plan is to go on this Sunday =D What bout you? Giving it another shot?

Gorgeous Ol' Eve Loves Vanilla. You? said...

Be careful on Sunday okay. There's gonna be a march parade so there'll be blockades (most prolly).

I'm going there today around 5pm. That's when the events start (so it writes on the paper). Have fun!