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HomeLatest NewsHow to celebrate Shrovetide correctly - Rossiyskaya Gazeta

How to celebrate Shrovetide correctly – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: March 20, 2023 Time: 19:38:44

Surprisingly, some days of Carnival Week were also named after themselves, reflecting what our ancestors were doing at the time. Monday – meeting, and this is not only about the fact that people began to visit the guests, where they were greeted with pancakes. Paganism also personified Maslenitsa – stuffed animals, dolls for Maslenitsa were made in advance in the villages – that’s what they met on Monday. And although Orthodoxy endowed the pagan holiday of the ancient Slavs with a new meaning, the pagan roots remained alive, in the form of rituals.

In recent years, the media have often published the Maslenitsa calendar, where Tuesday is called Flirting, Wednesday is Lakomka, Thursday is Razgulay, Friday is mother-in-law’s night, Saturday is Zolovkin’s meeting , Sunday is forgiveness Sunday. Right away, the festive concerns of our ancestors are literally painted by the day: they say that bachelors got acquainted with girls on Flirting, on Wednesday – on Lakomka: married people went to their mother-in-law for pancakes, quarrels to fisticuffs started on Thursday, etc. Ethnographers believe that such a strict carnival schedule is exaggerated, you should not follow false recommendations. Yes, there were important events of those days: visiting and receiving guests at home, matchmaking for bachelors, horseback riding and ice slides, ritual fisticuffs. But all these “festive events” did not have a clear reference to the days of the week. Except for the first day and the last day, called Forgiveness Sunday.

And if fisticuffs, the ritual burning of a Maslenitsa effigy, and even more so a winter funeral, were not universal and obligatory phenomena, especially in cities, then Maslenitsa was unthinkable without pancakes and charity. As well as without diligent attendance at worship services.

In general, the ancient holiday is an example of how discreet the Church is in relation to the people. With pagan roots, the Christian Maslenitsa not only fit into the annual church cycle, but was also enriched with the deepest meaning. Let’s find out how.

According to the apt remark of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow: “The Spirit of Christ is not an enemy of lawful enjoyments,” and Shrove Sunday on the eve of Great Lent (February 27 – April 15) is just the time for such joys. But at the same time, preparation for the feat of fasting. The Church “with the onset of Maslenitsa puts people in the last stage of preparatory abstinence by forbidding eating meat and allowing them to eat cheese and eggs in order to teach them to refuse pleasant dishes and fast without sadness” (SV Bulgakov) . Hence, by the way, the names of the Shrovetide church – Meat Week, from the word myasopust, which means that we “let go” of meat and do not eat it anymore. O Cheese week (week): The time when you can still eat dairy and eggs. So, Maslenitsa is not only pancakes and guests, it is also a time of preparation and transition to Great Lent.

Now let’s trace the logic of these days. To begin with, let us remember that on the Saturday before Maslenitsa, the deceased are commemorated in churches, and not only relatives and friends, but all those who “departed in piety and in the right faith”, from Adam to the today. And especially those who died of sudden death without receiving a funeral in the church. By praying for them, believers include themselves in the common history of humanity, they become involved with the millions of people who lived before them.

The Sunday service preceding Maslenitsa was dedicated to the Last Judgment, reminding us that we are all mortal, we will all appear before the Judgment of God. The believers were called to spiritual sobriety, that is, to pay attention to their thoughts and actions. The Church specifically remembered the arrival of the Last Judgment, and did not frighten them: speaking of “eternal torments”, of “eternal fire”, she gave at the same time a clear criterion of how one should live in order to inherit the Kingdom of God. Nothing supernatural, just be a man: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, lend a hand to the outcast, ease the plight of the sick, visit the prisoner, be merciful! And after the Sunday call “Love your neighbor!” there comes a week when people are given that opportunity. Fasting, and especially Great Lent, is a period of concentration: a person collects all his thoughts and feelings, turning them to God, refusing entertainment, minimizing relationships with people – there is no place for idleness in the spiritual tension of the fast.

But the post will come only in a week. And now, on Maslenitsa, we have been given time so that we can prove that we are “human”: we feed, drink, call under our shelter, sympathize, share everything without remorse, and ourselves gratefully share someone else’s. The point is not that we do not eat meat on Maslenitsa, but that we eat a lot of pancakes, visit guests and treat ourselves to a treat. The main thing is that the Church tactfully encourages a person to love and generosity, gives time for us to feel the joy of being generous and capable of love!

This is how a person is educated. This is how the soul of the people is nourished. And it is certainly not by chance that Maslenitsa inevitably ends with Forgiveness Sunday (February 26). Having become closer, renewing relations, feeling his community with relatives, friends and even with the most distant – moreover, community not only at the everyday level, but also on a different plane of being, a person cannot help but feel that he is not he is always right, that in addition to his demand “Me, there are other people”. And there is a God who sees everything, even the human heart. Therefore, it is logical that the last day of Maslenitsa becomes the day when we turn to our neighbors with the words: “Forgive me!” And we hear in response: “God will forgive! And I forgive!”

This call to God’s witnesses, this verticality in relations between people, testifies that the joy and generosity of Maslenitsa have not an everyday basis, but a supramundane one. We ask for forgiveness, we ourselves forgive, and this gives us the strength to enter the Great Lent. This is how tradition treasures and nurtures the best in the heart of each one, in the soul of the people. The best, in which there is no place for hatred and anger.

In the days of Maslenitsa in Russia, property, class, official distinctions were always weakened, the doors of houses were thrown wide open, not only close and distant relatives, colleagues, neighbors, but also the poor, the homeless and the poor were invited. to the table. Pancakes, and even “with a piece of paper”, that is, with money, were sent to hospitals, hostels, prisons – national unity reigned before going on a long penitent path of Great Lent. “Now the holidays have faded, and people seem to have grown cold,” Ivan Shmelev complained in Paris in 1927. “Poor pancake” – to an unknown trio, rushing into the dark with a buzz. And God in heaven, behind. the stars, kindly looked at everyone, Maslenitsa, go for a walk! In this wide word, even now, a bright joy is alive for me, before sadness … – before mail? (Ivan Shmelev “Summer of the Lord”).

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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