Maslenitsa is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday that dates back to ancient pagan times. It is still observed worldwide today (primarily in Russian and
Ukrainian communities) and is celebrated during the week preceding Lent. Maslenitsa 2018 began Monday, February 12th in Russia, and ended on Sunday, February 18th. This joyous holiday, also known as “Butter Week”, marks the end of winter and the commencement of spring. It is typically celebrated with feasting and the eating of topped blini (Russian pancakes) that are round, warm, and golden to represent the sun.
This past Tuesday, March 6th, Staten Island Technical High School delved into Russian culture and held its fourth annual celebration of Maslenitsa. Students reported to the cafeteria immediately after ninth period to sing, dance, and eat blini. It was an incredible turnout; crowds were eager to buy their tickets and enter the event. The room was filled with many students and teachers, all enjoying the celebration of this Russian holiday.
Students began by singing Russian karaoke with Mrs. Levina, and watching dances prepared by some of the students. Soon, everyone was able to join in on the fun! Mrs. Dobry offered an arts and craft station: where people would color Matryoshka dolls and make Russian hats. She also set up a Russian proverb station for those that were interested in learning more about Russian culture and tradition. Mrs. Maslyukova and her students simulated a Russian market, where people could see what it was like to fill the shoes of a shopper in a typical market in Russia. They were able to “purchase” and enjoy popular Russian snacks and candies. Bryan Boyd, Michelle Wang, and Elaine Li, all students in Mrs. Maslyukova’s Advanced Russian class, led a difficult game of ‘Тридцать Три блина’ (Thirty Three Pancakes) that involved skill, Russian vocabulary, and Russian grammar. People continued to enjoy all of the festivities as everyone began to feast.
Everyone was eager to eat once the food was prepared. Everyone enjoyed the endless amount of blini with sour cream, cookies, Russian lollipops, and other traditional snacks.
Maslenitsa slowly came to an end and people began exiting the cafeteria. Staten Island Tech had officially concluded their celebration of Maslenitsa for the year. The food, friends, and festivities deemed it as a huge success. Now that it is over, we can only start looking forward to next year’s celebration. Maslenitsa 2019, here we come!