Traditional Shrovetide celebrations took place in Akademgorodok. The holiday was right in front of the main building of NSU. It is symbolic, that this day temperature in the city has risen above zero degrees. Everyone felt the upcoming spring and local mummers, led by Carnival, walked around campus to «wake up lazy students» with songs and dances to spend the ending of the winter.
Young people and those who are young at heart could take part in traditional Russian amusements: dance a roundelay or play a "trickle". All this took place under the cheerful sounds of balalaika, accordion and clappers. The youngest participants of Carnival also enjoyed playing with each other on the playground.
The most curious spectators were international students of NSU. They came on holiday in large groups.
Anna, a student from China: «I was on Shrove Tuesday for the second time. I’ve learned about this holiday in China when I was preparing for a trip to Russia. Everything is so pleasant, the people in here are very kind and funny!».
Maxim, a student of NSU: «I was at Shrovetide at NSU for the first time. I’ve participated in almost all the amusements, especially I liked the "valiant fun." I got a positive charge, and a good mood for the whole day».
AliKarar, a student of NSU at medical faculty: «We had fun fighting in the snow, children were fighting with fake wooden swords. There were also great games with nice Russian dances and with singing old Russian songs. In the end of celebration, we have burned some kind of several dummies as a sign of welcoming the spring».
«Shrovetide in NSU was great: bright, soulful, fun! This is one of the holidays, which allows each participant to be a part of something big and great, to be a part of the history and culture of his people, it is interesting not only for Russians but also for foreigners! The feeling of happiness and integrity - that's what gives us Shrovetide», — said director of the Center for extracurricular and educational work NSU Anita Golubeva.
The origin of Shrovetide
If we turn to Slavic mythology, we will learn that Maslenitsa is a date to celebrate the end of the winter and the coming of spring. This holiday lasts for a week. After the week people are forbidden to eat meat, eggs, fish and dairy products for 40 days. Thus, during the time of the Festival they have the last chance to eat and do what they want, enjoying drinking, eating, dancing, singing and of course outdoor activities.
The symbol of Shrovetide
“Bliny” was the main treat and symbol of Maslenitsa. It was made from food butter, eggs and milk allowed by the tradition. It was like pancakes or crepes stuffed with things like smoked salmon, cheese, caviar and fruits compotes. It symbolized the sun in spring.
People baked pancakes (“bliny”) for the Festival every day starting on Monday, but especially a lot of pancakes were baked from Thursday to Sunday. The tradition of baking pancakes had existed in Russia since the times of worship to pagan gods. That was the sun god “Jarilo” which was called to drive the winter away. A round and ruddy pancake, however, was very similar to the summer sun.