Russian holidays

Maslenitsa – Slavic holiday of saying goodbye to winter

From 4 to 10 March this year, Russian people celebrate the ancient Slavic holiday symbolizing the farewell of winter and the joyful expectation of spring – Maslenitsa. This holiday is considered an echo of pre-Christian times when the Slavs were still pagans. Before the adoption of Christianity, Maslenitsa was celebrated for 14 days, and after it shortened to a week. The Orthodox church accepted Maslenitsa as one of its holidays – Maslenitsa falls on the week preceding the Great Lent (the dates change every year). Continue reading “Maslenitsa – Slavic holiday of saying goodbye to winter”

History of Christmas decorations in Russia

According to some sources, the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree was started by the German theologian Martin Luther. Allegedly, once he was walking home through the woods late in the evening and was so delighted with the combination of shining stars in the sky and tall pines and fir trees in the winter forest that when he came home, he installed a small fir tree in a tub and decorated it with candles. Continue reading “History of Christmas decorations in Russia”