CulturallyOurs Russian Maslenitsa Festival And Blini Recipe

Maslenitsa And Blini Recipe From Russia

03.08.21
CulturallyOurs Russian Maslenitsa Festival And Blini Recipe

Have you ever heard of a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Day in the UK or Australia? Fat Tuesday in France or the USA? Now imagine this glorious feast of pancakes that usually lasts for just one day being celebrated for the entire week. This is Maslenitsa which is celebrated all throughout Russia.CulturallyOurs Russian Maslenitsa And Blini RecipeMaslenitsa is perhaps the oldest surviving Slavic holiday that uniquely combines Orthodox traditions and has pagan roots. Before the 10th century when Christianisation took over Kievan Rus, Maslenitsa was known as a Sun-Festival. People would use that time to say goodbye to winter and welcome springtime. After Christianization, the idea has shifted into the last chance for people to find joy in delicious food, parties, music and dancing, as all of that will be prohibited throughout the Great Lent. This Lent, also called The Great Fast, is the most important fasting season in the church year in Russia. It is characterized by the abstinence of foods like dairy and eggs (while meat is being forbidden already at the beginning of Maslenitsa), intensified prayer both in church and in privacy, focused self-examination and practice of humility. Lasting for forty days, Lent ends on Easter – celebration of Resurrection Sunday, the Rising of Jesus – called “Pascha” in Russian.CulturallyOurs Russian Maslenitsa And Blini RecipeMaslenitsa festival, already holding so much meaning, is quite extraordinary also in the way it is structured. Each day of Maslenitsa has a special theme, that makes the whole week a perfect playground for people to connect and have fun together.

Monday is for ‘Meeting’

It is the day to create the main character of the festival – Maslenitsa doll, made out of straw and dressed in bright women’s clothes and rags. She symbolizes Winter and will be at the center of celebration for the whole week. People start dancing khorovods around her, which are circle dancing with the crowd holding hands, making the same moves and sometimes also singing chorus.CulturallyOurs Russian Maslenitsa And Blini RecipeWomen start baking thin pancakes called “blini” in huge amounts, building stacks on stacks of them, feeding everyone. The first blinis are usually prepared for the poor people.

Tuesday is for ‘Playing’

Folk games, building snow and ice forts, playing snowballs, eating as many pancakes as you possibly can. Another important theme for this day is matchmaking. Back in time, during this day of the festival the single guys were allowed to kiss any single girl they liked. The meaning and belief behind it is to form new couples. There is a saying – “A match made on Maslenitsa will turn into a marriage on Krasnaya Gorka” – the latest is the Sunday after Easter, translating that it takes a little over 50 days for a couple to become a married one.

Wednesday is called ‘Sweet Tooth Day’

A day to go visit family, friends and neighbors, or welcome them at home with pancakes. Special tradition for this day is that sons-in-law visit their mothers-in-law who feed them with pancakes, of course.

Thursday is the day for ‘Revelry’

Since Thursday people usually stop working as the culmination of Maslenitsa begins and the real fun starts. Fist fights, revelry, khorovods, folk dances and singing. The saying says to have as many pancakes as many times the dog will wag its tail.CulturallyOurs Russian Maslenitsa Festival And Blini Recipe

Friday is for ‘Evening at mother-in-law’

After visiting mothers-in-law on Wednesday, on Friday it is sons-in-law’s turn to welcome their wife’s mother and treat her well. The latter can bring all her girlfriends so they will enjoy her son-in-law hospitality together.

Saturday is for ‘Sister-in-law gathering’

This is the time for newly married wives to get to know their husband’s family better. They will gather around the table and eat – you guessed it – pancakes. The saying goes – ‘The more pancakes are baked, the better will be the autumn harvest!’ and ‘Those who will be stingy on Maslenitsa, will become poor later this year.’

Sunday is ‘Forgiveness Day’

This is a very sentimental day of the festival. It is the time to say sorry, forgive others and start fresh in spring with kindness to everyone around you. When people meet on this day, words of asking for forgiveness and giving forgiveness are exchanged.

  • Forgive me, dear, if I ever hurt you in any way, I am sorry!
  • I forgive you. Please, you too, can you forgive me back, if there is anything I did wrong to you!

CulturallyOurs Russian Maslenitsa And Blini RecipeSunday is also the last day of the celebration and the Maslenitsa doll made of straw gets burned down, surrounded by a crowd of people which is a very symbolic echo of pagan times. Tiny straw-dolls are hung on the big Maslenitsa – people making a wish while hanging it, that will of course come true.

Blini – Thin Russian Pancakes Recipe

Masleitsa is celebrated throughout Russia, in every small town or huge metropolis like Moscow or Saint-Petersburg. Pancakes represent the sun, and usually filled with caviar, creme fraiche, or sour cabbage, berry jams, condensed milk – either white or boiled one that tastes more like a caramel sauce.CulturallyOurs Russian Maslenitsa And Blini RecipeThis special festival is like no other in Russia, a time for people to make new bonds with each other or nourish the already existing ones. Time to enjoy giving as much as possible, feeding others and caring for them, only to find out that through giving we are not left with less, but become full.

Ingredients

  • plant or regular milk – 500 ml
  • 3 eggs
  • white flour – 200 g
  • sugar – 2 Tbsp
  • salt to taste
  • butter/oil for greasing the pan

Method

  1. Combine milk, eggs, flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl and whisk well.
  2. Heat up the pan on the medium-high heat, grease it with melted butter or oil and pour the pancake mix into the pan with a ladle, turning the pan in your hand so that the mixture will cover the bottom completely.
  3. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Try flipping the pancake without using any utensils, holding the pan in your two hands, carefully of course.
  4. Serve while still hot with creme fraiche and berries, or creme fraiche caviar and dill.
  5. Don’t forget to share your pancakes with everyone around you

CulturallyOurs Russian Maslenitsa Festival And Blini RecipeDo you have any favorite festivals that revolve around food or a specific dish?

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Russian Maslenitsa Festival By CulturallyOurs

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