In the old days of Christianity, Maslenitsa marked the last chance for indulgence before starting Lent. According to tradition, once Lent begins people adhere to a strict fast which includes not eating any meat, fish, dairy products and eggs.
At pagan festivities, people feasted on pancakes – symbolic of the hot, golden sun – as a way of ensuring that the sun’s grace would help warm up the frozen earth. Maslenitsa
Strict rites and rituals are observed each day of Maslenitsa, while pankcakes are prepared in large quantities to be shared with friends and neighbors throughout the week. In Russia these pancakes are known as blini and are usually served with caviar, mushrooms, jam, sour cream and lots of butter. This year, Maslenitsa will begin on February 24 and run through March 2.