Maslenitsa is an ancient Slavic Sun festival that celebrates the return of spring. After many long cold months of Russian winter the people are ready for festivities and celebration.
This year the Celebration is from March 7 – March 19.
Other names for this Holiday are Butter Week, Cheesesfare, and Crepe Week. This is the last week during which eggs, milk, cheese and other dairy products are permitted to be eaten.
This Holiday is much like our Mardi Gras or Carnival.
There is much merriment, dancing, horse races, eating and drinking. The Sunday at the end of festival is known as Forgiveness Sunday. It is a day to seek forgiveness from friends and family and give small gifts.
It is celebrated the last week before Great Lent, the eight week before Russian Orthodox Easter.