Maslenitsa: folk signs and customs
Maslenitsa is a Slavic holiday that originated in ancient times. Previously, they waited with impatience. Special signs and customs of Shrovetide week allowed not only to know what to expect in the near future, but also to influence it.
Maslenitsa is a favorite holiday of the people. For our ancestors, it was a special time, which they met in a special way. The customs of Shrovetide week have survived to this day. Most people think that this holiday, symbolized by the sun, is exclusively pagan, but this is not quite true.
In fact, these days of celebration are used for a truce with relatives and friends, as well as for the preparation of the Great Lent by Orthodox people.
National signs and customs accompany many festivals. As for the Carnival, it is a special time that can tell a lot about the life of our ancestors, about ourselves and about our future. This holiday is nothing but a turning point between winter and summer. A rich and cheerful meeting of Maslenitsa is one of the key customs.
It used to be that both you will meet Shrovetide and you will spend a year.
Folk traditions and customs on Maslenitsa
The most enchanting and spectacular event of this period is the burning of a straw effigy, or, in other words, the funeral of winter. A straw doll, which is a symbol of fading frost, was made on the first Maslenitsa day — on Monday. Burning stuffed — an ancient custom that helped people not only get rid of the cold, but also get rid of negativity.
Baking pancakes is an old tradition, and without it, Maslenitsa itself would not be Maslenitsa. Pancakes are associated with the hot Sun, which is able to melt cold snow with its heat, letting light and heat into everyone’s life. The cult of the Sun among the ancient Slavs was widespread. There is a theory that even the word “Slavs” itself means “those who are descended from the Sun”.
Slavs believed that they were followers of the Sun, and therefore are associated with it and inseparable. Daylight was revered as the Lord of heaven, earth and people, so people tried to appease him. Each hostess kept in her arsenal several secret recipes for cooking Shrovetide pancakes, which they passed down through the centuries.
Pancakes were treated to everyone, because the main thing on Maslenitsa is kindness, generosity and love for neighbors.
From Monday to Sunday in Russia, first preparations were made for the broad Maslenitsa, and then lush festivities. It helped people not only to have fun, but also to unite with family, relatives, find new friends, meet and marry. At this time, the young people looked after the brides, and the young girls secretly arranged divination for the betrothed.
Every day of the Pancake Week had its own meaning. People respected ancient customs and tried to do everything so as not to anger the gods. Holiday parties didn’t go without games: “crowd to crowd”, fights with fists, skating on sledges, climbing on a pole, as well as round dances, songs and ditties were integral parts of the celebration.
All necessarily went to visit relatives to leave behind in each house minor gifts.
The parents made the kids wooden or clay whistles. This custom refers to the call of spring, because the whistle from a children’s toy can be compared to bird trills. For matured children there was another entertainment — carols.
Sunday is the last day of Shrovetide, which is called Forgiveness. On this day, it was customary to visit close people and ask for forgiveness for all the causative offenses. They asked for forgiveness not only from the living, but also from the dead.
It was a time of commemoration of the departed, who, according to popular belief, protected the life and prosperity of their own kind.
People signs on Maslenitsa
Folk omens are a storehouse of knowledge left to us by our ancestors. Beliefs and superstitions helped predict the weather, the future, good or bad events. On the Maslenitsa week there were countless such signs, but we chose the most basic for you:
- If pancakes succeed, then the year will bring prosperity, lumpy expect trouble;
- The tastier the pancakes turned out on Shrovetide, the more money there will be and a happier life;
- Pancakes symbolize the sun, so one pancake was equal to one clear and warm day. The more pancakes are cooked, the better the weather will be;
- On Wednesday, the mother-in-law should invite her son-in-law and bake pancakes for him. If he likes the food, then her daughter will be happy;
- Rain or sleet on Shrovetide — there will be a lot of mushrooms in autumn, but if it is cold, then meet the hot summer;
- Uninvited guests at Shrovetide — fortunately;
- The more treats on the table, the life will be more beautiful;
- If on Shrovetide to burn (or throw away) worthless things — wait for new ones;
- If on Forgiveness Sunday a person finds the strength to forgive himself, he can change his life;
- Pancake Day was taken to ride on a swing. It was believed that the one who takes off the highest will be the happiest of all this year. The same with riding from a hill — who is the farthest away, luck will smile upon him.
It is not for nothing that our ancestors guarded their traditions, because now we know a lot about our roots, which is the key to success and prosperity of the clan. Until now, the Pancake Week obliges everyone to remember the traditions, customs and signs that will help to admit something new, bright and happy into their lives. Despite the fact that Shrovetide originated from the pagan peoples, it is perfectly incorporated into our usual life.
We wish you a great mood, happiness in life and success in everything. take care of yourself and don’t forget to press the buttons and