On the 24th of February at The Atlantic school in Skolkovo, the whole school came together to celebrate Maslenitsa (the end of winter and the coming of spring) also known as Pancake week.
All of the children from Pre-nursery to Year 5 took part in the Pancake week celebration. In the school grounds our teaching staff had organized lots of fun activities. We participated in traditional Russian games and relay races. We rode on horses and of course, ate pancakes. Pupils were really excited to ride on the horses, after all, for many of them this was the first time. Also the children were really happy and full of energy participating in the relay races and traditional games.
It was a wonderful day when each of us had an opportunity to participate in a little of the Russian history together. At the end of the celebrations we sang cheerful songs and danced in a ring around an effigy of Maslenitsa, and then everybody approached the magic tree and tied a ribbon onto its branches with their most cherished wish written on it. This week symbolizes the period that separates two seasons in the national calendar – winter and spring.
Together we learnt a lot, for example, that Pancake week is one of a few ancient pagan holidays which still remain in Russia to this day. In comparison in the UK we have only one day (Pancake Day) to celebrate, instead of a whole week. We also now know that Maslenitsa is celebrated for the whole week and every day of the week has its own name:
Monday – “greeting of Maslenitsa”
Tuesday – “playing day”
Wednesday – "connoisseur’s day"
Thursday – "happiness day"
Friday – “eating pancakes with your wife`s mother”
Saturday – “sister-in-law’s gathering”
Sunday – “the day of forgiveness”
The holiday has gone, right?!