The last week before the Great Fast coincided with pagan holiday of seeing off the winter and meeting the spring, which was celebrated by all people of Europe in the pre-Christian period. The east Slavs called this holiday “Maslyanytsya”, Butter Week or Pancake Week.
The holiday is celebrated the 7th week before Orthodox Easter every year. This year Maslyanytsya starts on February 20th, 2017 and will last till February 26th, 2017. It is country’s most picturesque and cheerful holiday, which is traditionally accompanied by songs, dances and large-scale feasts. During Butter Week people said good-bye to winter, organizing mass festivities with all thinkable funs, and performed ceremonies, ensuring fertility. The holiday always ended with burning a straw effigy of winter, which symbolized destruction of the old outdated world and making place for a new one.
Ukrainians organize feasts with tasty dishes and drinks, visit relatives, friends and acquaintances during the whole week. Holiday’s climax falls on Sunday, which is the last day of the Maslyanytsya cycle. On this day the most large-scale folk festivities take place and the main rite is held: burning down a straw effigy of winter.
Maslenitsa is one of the Ukrainians’ favorite folk holidays, and therefore, it is yearly celebrated in all corners of the country in a big way. This year the brightest and the most spectacular Maslenitsa events will be traditionally held in Kyiv. Pyrohovo Museum of Ukrainian folk architecture is inviting guests to explore authentic and traditional Ukrainian Maslyanytsya at its finest. Guests can enjoy live performances by numerous folk bands, take part in fun games and taste delicious pancakes and crepes with different fillings. If the weather will be fine, sledging, snowball fights and other folk funs will be held. Here all the visitors will have a chance to get a glimpse of an authentic Ukrainian Maslyanytsya.
Kyiv Rus Park in Kopachev (Kopachiv village, Obukhiv highway, about 50 km from the capital) near Kyiv invites to have an exciting medieval themed Maslyanytsya. Here guests will have a chance to enjoy horse riding, costume parties, Kyiv Rus food and drinks tastings (traditional pancakes, varenyky and borsch) and many other fun activities. The entertaining programs will run daily from February 20th till February 26th. For detailed schedule of events, restaurant festive menu and rates, anyone can check Kyiv Rus Park in Kopachev web page.
VDNH expo complex will turn into ultimate family destination for Maslyanytsya fun in the heart of Kyiv and will host vivid folk festivities. Foodies will be spoiled by the selection of traditional Ukrainian dishes at the local food court, guests will have a chance to discover authentic Maslyanytsya traditions and rituals as well as take part in some of them. VDNH expo complex will be hosting a diverse Maslyanytsya program during the whole week from February 20th till February 26th, 2017.
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Anyway, wherever you decide to celebrate Maslyanytsya, you will surely get bright vivid impressions, positive emotions and delicious treats.
Photo source: shutterstock.com, pintrerest.com, Kyiv Rus' Park Facebook page. All photos belong to their rightful owners.