Maslenitsa 2023: Rites by day of the week


February 15, 2023, 21:02 – BLiTZ – News Maslenitsa is a traditional Russian holiday celebrated at the end of February. Previously, we have already talked about what traditions were held at this time. The BLiTZ learned about the rituals on the days of the week for Maslenitsa 2023.

Maslenitsa is a pagan holiday. In 2023, Pancake Week starts on February 20th and ends on February 26th. Our ancestors believed in the rituals that accompanied each of these days.

Rituals for Maslenitsa by day of the week

Monday is a meeting. On this day, our ancestors built snow slides, rode sleighs and made a stuffed Maslenitsa, which the ancient Slavs called Madder. Madder – a pagan goddess – was two-faced and personified a cold winter and a warm spring. Also, the matchmakers went to visit the matchmakers, and the housewives began to bake pancakes. On Monday, they performed a ceremony: they poured salt on the windowsill, at the front door, while saying: “More salt – there are no misfortunes in my lot! Amen”. On Forgiveness Sunday, the salt must be swept away and thrown into the trash, saying: “All corruption and blackness are beyond my gates! He leaves, does not return, turns into happiness. Amen”. Tuesday – games. Even in the old days, unmarried people brought their betrothed with the help of a ritual of riding from the mountain. There is also a modern version of the conspiracy. To do this, you need to stay in the house alone with the lights off. Sit at the table, light a candle, grease the pancake with honey and say: “Oh, honey-honey, sweet and decoy! The betrothed beckons and intoxicates! You, my dear, you will take me as a wife and make a box of money! Amen”. Wednesday is sweet. The mother-in-law receives her son-in-law in her house. She feeds pancakes, and her daughter looks at all this and rejoices. On Wednesday, a ceremony was held: during the meal, the napkins of quarreling people were swapped. They were waiting for them to wipe themselves off. Then they uttered the phrase in a reconciling whisper: “Let there be no quarrels and insults between you. One does not blame the other for anything. Love and friendship is all we need! What I ask will be given. Amen”. Thursday – revelry, roam-fours. The Big Maslenitsa is coming. On this day, it’s time to start having fun: sledding down the hill, having noisy parties, playing snowballs. In the evening, it was customary to conduct a ritual aimed at strengthening health and beauty: 1 liter of milk was added to a warm bath, the body was smeared with honey and dived into the “font”. After about 20 minutes, it was necessary to say: “From milk and honey I will be beautiful and healthy! Thank you Maslen! Amen”. Friday – mother-in-law evenings. This time, the mother-in-law goes to visit her son-in-law, who should greet her hospitably and demonstrate his disposition towards her. The ceremony on Friday was held for the guests who came, who should have been satisfied, then, according to the sign, there will be prosperity in the house. When the hostess laid the tablecloth on the table, flour was poured under it. At the same time, it was said: “There is flour – there will be pancakes. There will be pancakes – there will be butter. If there is oil, there will be money. All year long we bask like pancakes in oil! Be this and according to my word! Amen”. Saturday – sister-in-law gatherings. On this day, the wife was waiting for her husband’s relatives at home. A ceremony was held for a happy family life. They took the wedding rings of the wife and husband and put them in a glass of holy water, saying: “As holy water connected our rings, they will never separate us – neither the evil eye, nor the evil word, nor treason, nor change in life. Let it be so! True! Amen”. Then the rings were taken out, the couple put them on each other, and the flower was poured with holy water. Sunday – farewell. Forgiveness Sunday. Close people on this day asked each other for forgiveness, while kissing three times. On Forgiveness Sunday, it was customary to go to the cemetery and commemorate the dead. At the end of the holiday, an effigy of Shrovetide was burned and a ritual was performed: unnecessary old things were thrown into the Shrovetide bonfire. According to the sign – to have money for new things. While the flame burned, people said: “Burn, Maslena-Marena! Burn, all our failures! So be it – not otherwise! Burn, winter! Spring is coming! Marena will return, smile at us – not an evil witch, a pretty girl! So be it! Amen”.


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