Mardi Gras — the beginning of the week cheese

Mardi Gras — the ancient Slavic holiday with many traditions, through the ages extant.

Carnival, which opens the cheese a week — is a funny seeing winter, illuminated joyful expectation of the heat of spring renewal of nature. Even pancakes, an indispensable attribute of Maslenitsa had ritual significance: round, ruddy, hot, they were a symbol of the sun, which flared brighter, lengthening days.

Maybe pancakes were part of the funeral rites, since the Saturday before Carnival was revered as the "Parents' Day" — the Slavs worshiped the souls of the departed ancestors.

Centuries passed, life changed with the adoption of Christianity in Russia, new, holy days, but the general Carnival continued to live. She met and accompanied with the same unbridled audacity, as in pagan times.

By the way, at one time, Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich most stringent measures tried to calm his daring subjects. Voivod sent out by castles and villages of the imperial decrees, that prohibiting private distillery, then demanding that the Russians do not play games of chance, fisticuffs were carried out. But neither the formidable imperial decrees or instructions of the patriarch were unable to cope with overflowing joy.

For every day of the week there were some carnival rituals. Monday — Pancake meeting, Tuesday — zaigryshi. On the gourmet, ie on Wednesday Shrove week Tiffany invited to pancakes in-law and their wives. Especially the custom observed in the case of young, newly married. Surely hence the expression "to his mother on the pancakes."

In a very crowded place Thursday toboggan ride. On Friday — Teschin Vecherki — mother-in-law called to treat. Saturday was assigned Zolovkina sitting. Sunday called "Forgiveness Sunday┬╗ or "forgiven day." On this day, visiting relatives, friends and acquaintances, exchanging kisses, bows and asked for forgiveness from each other, if offended by words or actions.