A couple of weeks ago maselnitsa was celebrated! This is the celebration where you tell winter to go to hell and welcome spring 🙂 It is also a week where you gorge on blini (very thin pancakes) and eat lots of pyshki (donuts).

Anyway, a school one of the girls in my program volunteers at decided to throw a party for the Americans to show us how maselnitsa is done and boy was it an adventure.  First off, we had a small play performer for us by the cutest kids! It was all translated into English for us as this is an afterschool English program.

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The blini in the middle symbolizes the sun! I can’t remember what was chanted, but it was something along the lines of “sun come to us”

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The girl in the green is spring and she is chasing winter (the boy with the orange cap) back to the North Pole

Next, we were shown the chuchela (scarecrow) that symbolizes winter.  Of course we’re supposed to burn it because that is just what you do in Russia.  Here are the multiple stages of the chuchela fire…(p.s a man just pulled out a waterbottle of gasoline, lit it on fire, and threw it into the middle of the chuchela)

1. Before

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2. During
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3. Full Force
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4. After….
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There were some chants that I didn’t quite catch during the burning, but the children absolutely loved this part.

Then we got to go back inside and enjoy our blini feast!!

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Here you can see our feast prepared by the moms and students which was really so sweet of them to do!  You can also see the red jar on the table which is a red jar of caviar.  Russians see this as a very nice gift because it is expensive so of course as American guests we were given the caviar first.  I did try it and it did not go very well..it was mostly like having small fish flavored tapioca balls explode in my mouth.  I smiled through it and declined a second helping.  After our feast we played multiple strange games such as, hit each other with pillows while on skateboards and tug’o’war on skateboards (these games would never happen in America where safety is always a rule, but here it just seems normal)

p.s. I won 🙂

Overall this experience was great, and as you can see on the kids’ faces they had so much fun! It was great to meet all of them and I am so happy I got to experience a true Russian Maselnitsa party :D!

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