20 February 2012, Monday, 10:56
author: Eugene Rakhimkulov
Citizens of Bashkiria as well as the majority of Russians are meeting the first day of Pancake week today and this pagan festival, which we inherited from the ancient Slavs, impersonates jolly sendoff of winter and expectation of spring renovation of nature and pancakes – the obligatory attribute of the festival – impersonate the Sun, which start shining brighter with every February day. In ancient times people believed that when eating a pancake they thereby acquired a particle of the Sun power and warmth.
Pancake week falls on the time before the Lent and its beginning varies from February 3 (January 21 according to the old style) to March 14 (March 1). During a long period of time the Christian Church tried to struggle with this pagan festival but in spite of everything people continued celebrating Pancake week. Later Pancake week was grasped by the Church as an official religious festival and was called Cheese week but it failed to change its nature.