Maslenitsa Terms

Maslenitsa Suhii (March) 21 Maslenitsa is a very ancient festival, the holiday of the Spring Equinox and the end of the winter frosts. People enjoy themselves, engaging in much feasting, dancing, wearing of masks, playing on traditional musical instruments, and contests of strength, all to enact spring unbridled, in action and fighting. Traditional pastries are also baked, called blini (a type of potato pancake), to symbolize the sun. http://www.irminsul.org/arc/010sz.html It is now linked with Cheesfare Week, the week prior to Great Lent and is paralle to the Carnival. On the last day of Maslenitsa they burn down a straw effigy symbolizing winter. Thus they are sending-off winter till the next year. http://www.russia-ic.com/culture_art/traditions/698/