Selenge Province is preparing to celebrate the Russian Maslenitsa butter on February 19 to bid farewell to winter chills and welcome spring.
The Provincial Mayor’s Office, Consulate General of Russia in Erdenet, and Erdenet Mining Corporation are planning activities for the celebration. So far, they’ve decided to set up over 20 tents that will sell various food and products at A.Amar Square in Selenge Province.
Russian national food and snacks prepared by Moskva Petushki Restaurant, School No.19, Enerel Center, and Akutran Restaurant will be sold at the event.
Uurkhaichin Cultural Palace, Khangarid Sports Palace, and the Children and Youth Theater will showcase performances to underscore the close and friendly ties of the Mongolian and Russian people. Friendly competitions will also be organized to entertain festival goers, according to the organizers.
Maslenitsa, also known as Butter or Crepe Week, has been widely celebrated since the pagan times in Russia and other soviet countries with street festivals, skating, and merrymaking.
Although the main idea of the celebration is to greet Spring and prepare for next harvest, another meaning was added to the celebration with the adoption of Christianity in Russia. In the eyes of the church, Maslenitsa is not just a week of merrymaking, but a step-by-step procedure to prepare oneself for a long and exhausting fasting, which, if observed properly, may be a real challenge. Fasting begins right after Maslenitsa and lasts for seven weeks before the Easter.
The celebration usually continues for a whole week with special tradition on each day. For example, the first day of the celebration week is called the Greeting Day and it’s customary for people to make a straw doll – Maslyanitsa on this day.