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Orthodox believers started Maslennitsa festivities

Maslennitsa week during which Orthodox believers start preparations for the Great Lent has started. Maslennitsa performs the same function as the carnival in western countries. Different street festivities, games & entertainments are traditionally held during the week.

According to religious regulations, starting from Maslennitsa week people shouldn’t eat meat, but they are still allowed to eat fish, eggs and dairy products. That’s why, pancakes, cheese, caviar and fish pies are the most popular dishes prepared by Russians at Maslennitsa.

Officially Maslennitsa is called the week of apokreos, and aims at reminding of the Apocalypse and the Second Coming of Christ. Psalms name Jesus Christ the Just, and His divine justice – virtuous and incorruptible ordeal. Psalms of the week of apokreos remind us that this week is an eve of repentance and temperance.

At the same time, people traditionally consider Maslennitsa to be the week of festivities, a chance for emotional release, rather than the period of repentance and introspection. Since pagan times, Maslennitsa festival has been known as a celebration of the imminent end of the winter and welcoming spring. During the week people traditionally bake and eat pancakes and visit their friends and relatives.

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