Shrovetide in 2020
Surprisingly, the pagan holiday Maslenitsa directly depends on the date of the celebration of Orthodox Easter. In 2020, Pancake Week falls on the period from February 24 to March 1. And if you focus on the original meaning of this rite, then in 2020 it will coincide with its primary meaning - the celebration of the new year. Until 1348, it was on March 1 that the ancient Slavs celebrated the onset of the new year.
Origin of custom
Researchers and historians drew an analogy between the celebration of Maslenitsa in Russia and the carnivals held in Europe. The name that is familiar now is not the only one, so the holiday in different regions of the Slavic world is called differently: Meatless week, Raw-meat week, Buzzard, Blinschina, Zagoviny, Buttered buttermilk, Cheese week, Buttered butter.
Folklorists identify several ideas implemented in the celebration of the rite:
- perdition and resurrection;
- increased fertility;
To please the land and increase future productivity, an "impromptu sacrifice" is made, in the form of a Carnival scarecrow. After burning, the ashes and unburned remains are scattered across the field, which will yield an excellent harvest next season.
Fertility affected not only the soil, but also young boys and girls of childbearing age. The Tselovnik, newlyweds, guest shows, roller coaster rides, comic pursuits of bachelors, clappers are customs for newlyweds or long-time bachelors, with hints and calls for a change in social status and gaining a family, childbearing.
On Maslenitsa week comes the first parental Saturday, when much attention is paid to the commemoration of the departed ancestors. In the ancient Slavic understanding, the deceased ancestors resided simultaneously in two worlds: in another and in the earth, and could affect the yield of the fields in the next season. Therefore, food after plentiful feasts was not removed from the tables, in the hope that the deceased relatives would be able to "treat themselves" at night and be satisfied.
As paradoxical, but today called pancakes, the traditional Pancake week dish, were not at all a symbol of the sun among the Slavs. Yes, pancakes really were eaten in huge quantities this week, but rather they included a funeral component. Since they were a compulsory dish at the wake and funeral in those days. They were handed out to children, passers-by, the poor and the poor, asking them to remember the deceased relative.
For a long period, church officials fought with the Maslenitsa rite, considering it a pagan custom. The last pre-dinoid patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Adrian sought to eradicate the "demonic holiday", but he only managed to reduce the period of public festivities to one week. And from the mid-18th century, the church “adapted” Slavic ritualism to its foundations, ceasing to organize persecution of parishioners participating in national festivities.
Researchers of the folklore of the ancient Slavs are trying to reconcile the two conflicting ideas of the origin of custom, without opposing them to each other. So, in human understanding, the Great Lent preceding Easter implies restrictions and deprivations primarily in relation to food and drink, therefore, the parishioners were eager to eat and drink “for the future”. And the scarecrow of Shrovetide has nothing to do with the deity and idolatry, but is an element of the game and fun.
Shrovetide, Meat Week
Pancake week, eat pancakes, dairy dishes, fish, but it is no longer allowed to eat meat, as preparation for Lent begins. Depending on what date Easter falls, 56 days are counted back and people spend festivities before the start of 48-day abstinence.
The festive Unification is divided into two stages:
- first three days - Narrow Shrovetide;
- second half with Sunday - Wide Shrovetide.
The days of the week are also scheduled for the events that should occur in them, if you follow the customs of ancient ancestors, you should spend a week like this:
- Meeting (Monday). In 2020, the first day is February 24th. The bride from the house of her husband’s parents is sent to her father’s house. In the evening, the matchmakers gather in the house of the parents of the son’s young wife. The composition of guests is agreed in advance, pancakes are baked. In the morning, an image of Shrovetide gathers from straw, old worn clothes, and other flimsy rags. Then a scarecrow on a sleigh ride around the village. Towards evening, they put him on a stake and set him up in the central square, where later there will be festivities and a public burning on Sunday. After gatherings, they go skiing and sledding. Part of the pancakes on the street is given to the stranger to the strangers to strangers.
- Tricks (Tuesday). Brides are held all the brides of the village. Young single people and girls go companies from yard to yard. Then there is a matchmaking for those who have already looked narrowly in advance in order to celebrate a wide wedding after Easter and the end of Lent.
- Gourmet (Wednesday). The traditional day of the son-in-law in the mother-in-law's house, when she publicly shows respect and signs of attention to her daughter’s husband, feeds him pancakes and other cooked treats with her own hands. In addition to the family, the daughter is invited to the mother-in-law's house in a large number of relatives, neighbors, friends for general fun.
- Walk around, Fracture, Block (Thursday). The chores are coming to an end, and wide fun begins: sledding, fistfights, competitions in strength and dexterity among young people. In the evening, noisy revels are obligatory, with the obligatory assault and the improvised conquest of the Snow Fortress. Mass bonfires with mandatory jumping, a kind of rite of purification by fire. On the same day, the bachelors who are sitting up go with blocks, wooden clappers, on which they knock with other objects, thus informing that they missed their marriage last year and still have not tied the knot.
- Mother of the Vyachorka (Friday). Mother-in-law in the company of her friends makes a return visit to her son-in-law's house. The daughter bakes pancakes, and her husband gives all sorts of signs of attention and respect to his wife’s mother and all the other guests she brought with her.
- Zolovkin gatherings (Saturday). The newlywed family calls for the visit of the sisters of the husband (sister-in-law) and all their young married or unmarried relatives. Young wife prepares gifts for sister-in-law. The Orthodox Church on this day performs a prayer service to honor and commemorate all the Holy Reverend Fathers.
- The Tselovnik, Forgiven Sunday, Departure (Sunday) March 1, 2020. On the seventh day, they visit a bathhouse, eat up the remnants of plentiful treats, burn a scarecrow of Pancake week, ashes fly over the field. Relatives ask forgiveness from one another for their sins, commemorate the deceased loved ones and prepare for Lent. In some villages, to this day there is a custom to go to the cemetery, take pancakes there and ask for forgiveness from the dead on the graves. In addition to burning the scarecrow itself, it is customary to throw in the blazing flame the remains of a short-lived (non-fast) food: eggs, pancakes.
Pancake week fortune telling
Conducting fortune-telling during the Raw-meat Week is permitted on any day except Sunday. The girls ’favorite day of fortune telling was Zolovkin’s day, when they tried using various methods to look into the unknown future and determine their fate.
- Fortune telling the groom. A dry towel or a piece of cloth is hung out the window with a mental appeal of the narrowed one, asking them to wipe their hands and face. And the next morning, if the fabric remains dry, then this is a sign that the girl will have to remain unreached for another year.
- Fortune telling. If from the first pancake it is possible to easily separate the pastries from the pan, then wait for the matchmakers this year, if the pancake is stuck - 3 years to go to the girls. Accurate edges inform about a happy and smooth family life. The number of holes on the pancake informs about the number of children in the newlywed family.
- Guessing the character of the groom. For a flirtation, future son-in-law is offered pancakes with different fillings that will tell about hidden character traits. If you choose with caviar, the family will have a way and prosperity with a caring and hardworking husband. With fish stuffing - life with constant adventures and an ebullient spouse awaits. Prefers sour cream to pancakes - the bride should be careful so as not to hurt the feelings of a tender and vulnerable husband. With honey, they love pancakes of romance, with cottage cheese and jam - guys unripe for creating a family.