Tag: Christianity

Spectacular Slavic Carnivals before Easter

Slavic carnivals are known under different names in various Slavic countries: [Macedonian language: ‘Прочка’ (Prochka)], Bulgarian: Сирни заговезни, Прошка (Sirni zagovezni, Proska), Russian: Масленица, Мясопуст (Maslenitsa, Miasopust), Polish: Ostatki, Mięsopust, Zapusty, Czech: Masopust, Šibřinky, Ostatky, Slovak: Fašiangy, Slovene: Mesopȗst, Pust, Pustni teden, Fašnk, Serbian: Покладе, Poklade, Croatian: Pust, Poklade, Mesopust, Fašnik. They are traditional Slavic festivals related to the period of carnival.

Maslenitsa: Slavic ‘Spring Festival’

Maslenitsa (Belarusian: Масленіца, Russian: Мaсленица, Rusyn: Fašengy, Ukrainian: Масниця, ; also known as Butter Lady, Butter Week, Crepe week, or Cheesefare Week) is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday, which has retained a number of elements of Slavic mythology in its ritual, celebrated during the last week before Great Lent, that is, the eighth week before Eastern Orthodox Pascha (Easter).

Saint David’s Day – March 1

Saint David’s Day (Welsh: Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant or Dydd Gŵyl Dewi or the Feast of Saint David, is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and falls on 1 March, the date of Saint David’s death in 589 AD. The feast has been regularly celebrated since the canonisation of David in the 12th century, by Pope Callixtus II, though it is not a public holiday in the UK.

Bulgarian Kukeri

It’s related to the late winter festival cycle. According to pagan beliefs, the winter was a time of evil, so the Kukeri had the task to chase away everything evil the winter represented with their scary masques. Therefore it’s not a counterpart of Halloween. It’s rather related to the traditions that came to be associated with the Lent, even though there is no sanctioned carnival tradition in the Orthodox Church. The Lent celebrations, like Kukeri or jumping over fires, were and are very much frowned upon by the Church. The only similarity to Halloween are the scary masques.