Maslenitsa – Goodbye To Winter

Sunday dawned bright and sunny – a perfect day to say goodbye to winter.  It was just March 17, but that’s the way they do it here…… with great winter fun.Mia10

As David and I had already walked all over before we arrived at the crowded park, and we had Snoopy with us, we didn’t stay a long time, and, therefore, didn’t see a lot of the activity.  Thanks to my friend, Mia Swindoll, and her eye for a great photo, I can show you what she saw and we missed……. and a bit of what we did see while we were there.

It was crowded….. On the pathways,P1030270

and inside the stadium.P1030273

There were games for the children,Mia1 Mia9

and of course, children can find fun in the snow without any help.P1030282

The rides were busy.P1030276

Russian women can walk in the highest heels on the iciest streets and look elegant.P1030278

Shashlik – Russian Bar-be-que.Mia4

David getting caramel popcorn (his favourite) and a very green candy apple.P1030274

There were singersMia3

and dancersMia7 Mia5

and a silly play about Maslenitsa.Mia6

Wandering instrumentalists like this accordion player strolled among the crowds.Mia8

On a quieter path, horses wait to give you a ride –P1030280This old woman represents winter –P1030275

They burn her at the end of the day to hasten the spring –Mia2

there she goes.Mia11

There is a hole in the river ice here where strange, hardy folk take a dip.  The hole in the ice was made at the end of January…another Russian holiday. There is a parade from the church, the priest dips a large cross into the water and everyone starts scooping up water into containers, because it is now sort of magical. Then people, mostly older people, start jumping in. You are expected to get in and dunk (and cross yourself) 3 times before you can get out. It’s supposed to be good for your health for the rest of the year.

This young man must have been doing it on a dare – he puts in his feet and whoops at the cold –P1030284

And his “friend” shoves him in.P1030285

Needless to say, it didn’t take him long to get back out after fulfilling his obligation.

Next year – I plan on being there for the whole afternoon. Monday and Tuesday were foggy, rainy and quite warm. Although it is cold today, I think the back of the winter has been broken.

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6 Responses to Maslenitsa – Goodbye To Winter

  1. Evelyn says:

    Maybe we should try burning winter in effigy – just to give it a shove in the right direction as we still have snow in SW Ontario. Not sure about the ‘polar dip’.
    I love the wonderful, colourful clothing – and those boots!!!!

  2. GOOD BYE WINTER!!!! I just can’t believe how many people get out for that!!!! And riding at the carnival in the snow – well – that is a first for me. Thanks for sharing the pictures. Some of my gym buddies are from Russia and I was telling them about you. This morning they asked about the carnival. I will show them the pictures.

    And yes – I agree – we need to “BURN” a winter effigy here in SW Ontario. It is hanging on!!!!

  3. Hope says:

    that sounds like a fun day. no I would do the water dip. just abit chicken.

  4. Brenda Fritzler says:

    Terrible Saskatchewan winter storm today! Yup, we are ready to burn something…..anything to end this longest season ever. On the upside provincial snowfall records are being broken! Thank you for posting the colorful vibrant pictures. It gives a real taste of the culture.

  5. Sue says:

    What fun they are all having. And I thought 5 inch heels at the mall in Kuwait were strange. I cant imagine in ice and snow, but then, I dont even own a pair of 2 inch heels anymore. And you say the burning has worked and the days are warmer. . . excellent!!

  6. stephglaser says:

    What a great looking festival! I love it that it is full on winter, but everyone is embracing spring. Thank you for sharing and thank you so much for checking out and following Travel Oops! Cheers, Steph

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