Masnytsa or Butter Week fair opened on Maidan Svobody yesterday. The folk holiday, which is celebrated the last week before Great Lent, will last till February 18.
In gingerbread houses installed on the square, they sell pancakes and dumplings, mulled wine and Ukrainian cuisine dishes. This year the Valentine Day concurred with the middle of the Butter week, therefore, the heart-shaped cards, sweets, gingerbread, and souvenirs are also sold here.
Main street festivities are planned to take place on Saturday, February 17, when a gala concert will be held on the square in the afternoon. Each pavilion organizers will be entertaining visitors and be treating them with the pancakes. Also, the effigy of Mara will be burned that day to say goodbye to the winter and to welcome the spring.
However today some parents of school students complained on FB that the Kharkiv district officials compel them to prepare the presentations and cook the dishes at their own expense which made Kharkivites indignant.
Reference: Masnytsa is rooted in the pagan tradition of Slavic mythology as a sun festival and a celebration of the winter end. In the Christian tradition, Masnytsa corresponds to the Western Christian Carnival, it is the eighth week before Eastern Easter and the last chance to take part in social activities and savor dairy products before the prayerful Lenten season.
Text: Olena Sokolynska