Why Christians celebrate the pagan holiday Maslenitsa
Maslenitsa is the last preparatory week before Lent. This holiday has pagan roots, which are subsequently closely intertwined with Christian traditions.
Traditions of Maslenitsa have been forming for centuries. Since olden days, the Pancake Week has been considered a time of joy and fun, which precedes a long period of strict abstinence and austerity — Lent. However, the Orthodox rules prohibit excessive fun.
Pagan roots of Maslenitsa
In ancient times, when there was no Christianity in Russia yet, Maslenitsa was a celebration of winter wires. People met the approaching spring. They did it with dancing, fun and feast.
According to legends, nature blossomed at the time when Shrovetide arrived. People tried to speed up the disappearance of cold weather by ritual burning of stuffed animals, which symbolized the winter itself. They threw into the fire unnecessary things to get rid of the negative.
These rituals are still popular today. They do not contradict the Christian canons, therefore they are not prohibited by the Church.
For centuries, Shrovetide was made pancakes, which personified the Sun. As you know, nowadays, this tradition is as warm as possible. Even Orthodox churches arrange days when everyone can come and eat a festive pancake in honor of the beginning of Lent.
Before fasting, you can afford fatty foods, because people know that soon a long ban will be imposed on it.
This is a bright holiday that unites us all before waiting for heat and the sun. All week people are glad that the long-awaited spring is coming soon.
Christian meaning of Shrovetide
Christians celebrate this holiday, because the introduction of the Orthodox faith was gradual and long-lasting. The rituals and rituals of pagan origin were eradicated by many centuries, and some of them were so important and well-established that the church decided to just close their eyes to them. Maslenitsa is the best example of this.
Expel the tradition completely fail, because they will live forever with the Russian people.
The priests say that festivities at Shrovetide should not exceed the permissible level, for Cheese Week is the last week of preparation for the fast, dedicated to the Last Judgment, which will be at the end of time and will affect every deceased and every living person. The churches recall the teachings and words of the prophets about what the last moments of human life will be. This is a reminder to all believers that every person on earth is equal before God.
There are no exceptions.
The main thing on this holiday is not to abuse alcohol and do not forget about the prayers. You can’t eat meat at Maslenitsa, but you can have milk, cheese and eggs. Do not forget also that this week ends with Forgiveness Sunday, when you need to apologize to everyone you have offended. This day will teach you to let go of your offenders so that God can forgive your own sins.
As the saying goes, «farewell, for you will be forgiven.»
Use the time of Shrovetide in order to adjust yourself to the desired mode before Lent. Visit the holy places of Russia or just stay close to your family if you have a vacation or free time. Do not miss the opportunity to properly spend a week on the Last Judgment. Good luck, and don’t forget to press the buttons and