Maslyana is how ancient Ukrainians said goodbye to winter and welcomed spring in ancient times
Maslyana is how ancient Ukrainians said goodbye to winter and welcomed spring in ancient times.
With Sunday ending a week of Maslyana celebrations, which have their roots in pagan traditions, Orthodox Christians begin Lent – a period of fasting – today.
Oleksiy Lutsevych, a child, was getting help putting on his gear. He was about to run across a tight rope. He said he felt confident about how strong he is. Danylo Danevych, a volunteer, backed him up.
“‘Wait up kid! Don’t go any further!” he told Lutsevych.
“We are teaching them that they can have fun and relax out in nature,” Danevych said.
Lutsevych was one of the kids invited to the Maslyana celebration. The Kyiv city social services center for families, children and youth gathered families for the fifth time.
Games and contests were designed for both children and adults. Children used ribbons to braid hair, tested their speed, strength, and played tug-of-war. Everyone who came to the Maslyana celebration was treated with traditional pancakes.
“Working with kids, doing something charitable and feeling great – this is very important for me,” volunteer Natalia Sergeeva said.
The holiday ended with the burning of an effigy, symbolizing winter.