It is also known as Butter Week or Pancake week, is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday.
On the Christian side, Maslenitsa is the last week before the onset of Great Lent. During the week of Maslenitsa, meat is forbidden to Orthodox Christians. It is the last week during which milk, cheese and other dairy products are permitted. The most characteristic food of Maslenitsa is bliny (pancakes). Round and golden, they are made from the rich foods still allowed by the Orthodox tradition that week: butter, eggs and milk. By the way they symbolize sun comes after the long cold winter.
Maslenitsa is a very happy week. Everyday there is a special activity. For example, on Tuesday different games are held in the open air. Everyone can take part in them. On Wednesday you have to visit your mother-in-law and eat pancakes at her place. On Thursday you can go sled-riding. On Sunday a straw effigy symbolizing winter is burnt.
This week ended with the first day of the Lent – Clean Monday, which was considered the day of purification from sin and fast forbidden food. On Clean Monday people usually washed in a bath; women washed dishes, cleaning them from grease and remains of forbidden food.
Nowadays this festival still a good tradition for all people living in Russia. Everybody is happy to regale with pancakes, ask for forgiveness, and meet coming spring.