04 March 2023: Russian Centre of Science and Culture jointly with the Indian Association of Russian Compatriots celebrated the festival of MASLENITSA in New Delhi. The event was organized by Mrs. Elena Barman, president of IARC ( Indian Association of Russian Compatriots).
The festival marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of Spring in Russia. The people celebrate by making blini (Pancakes) and burning the Maslinitsa doll. Traditionally pancakes are enjoyed with different fillings and toppings, from Sour cream to caviar, to salmon to all the sweet things
Mrs. Barman commented on the occasion “We have been celebrating the festival for the last 20 years here in New Delhi, where we invited Russian and Indo Russian families to participate and help the children understand and enjoy the festival to keep the traditions going on.”
The director of the Russian house Mr. Oleg Osipov in his speech to guests told that the name Maslenitsa (variously translated as “Butter Week,” or “Pancake Week” in English) comes from the fact that, according to Russian Orthodox tradition. Each day of the festival involves pancakes, butter and many indulgent toppings, as Russians celebrate the arrival of Spring with an abundance of food, drinks, sledding, and snowball fights. Dressed up in beautiful traditional costumes and dance on folks songs is how the festival is celebrated. It is the day that Orthodox Russians enjoy dairy and meats as next day onwards Lent fasting begins. The Lent is a period of 40 days in preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter.
Maslenitsa is well-known for its seven days of festivities and final dose of gluttony. Food is a hugely important part of Maslenitsa. In folk tales, it’s been said that you must eat throughout the day as many times as a dog wags its tail, a fair challenge if you consider that the main food groups during this time are the stomach-filling, rich and often buttery blini. The blini, made every day of the week, symbolises the sun and its warmth and Russians are known to eat as many of them as possible during Maslenitsa since the seven days of festivities are followed by seven somber weeks of the Great Lent. What better way to enjoy the festivities with near and dear family and friends