Ukrainians Celebrate Winter Carnival

Epoch Times23. Februar 2010

The horse named Babe has a lot of work today. Over the years, Babe and everyone else in Kiev celebrated “Maslenitsa” – the day to see winter off.

Babe gives rides to children and adults. And during his break, he eats his favorite sweet carrots.

[Elena Pidsosonna, NTD Reporter in Kiev]:
„Horseback riding is not the only pleasure which can be offered to fans of folk festivals. Today there are a lot of them in Pyrogovo.“

Pyrogovo is a museum of folk culture next to the Ukrainian capital. Despite the heavy snowfall, people are seen singing folk songs, dancing and having lots of fun.

[Natalia, Resident of Kiev]:
„Wonderful experience, wonderful idea, very nice; for children, adults, for everyone. Very, very nice.“

There are also competitions for children and adults.

[Lilia, Resident of Shepetovka]:
„No prizes, but very good feelings!“

And of course, it’s the occasion to eat pancakes! Their round shape signifies the sun and the coming of spring. Today, these pancakes are offered with so many types of fillings that you cannot try all of them in one day.

[Jana Tushkevich, Participant]:
„We have the biggest pancakes in Ukraine, they are 15 inches in diameter. We bake them ourselves. We also have thin and thick pancakes. Thin pancakes look like thin discs, thick pancakes are heartier. We have 52 kinds of fillings for pancakes.“

And if you want to warm up, you can ride a sleigh or just try the mulled wine.

[Alexander Kochubei, Participant]:
„I call it a healing drink from Ukrainian herbs. But the base is wine, a mix of white, pink and two red wines. And there are six different kinds of herbs in it.“

According to Slavic beliefs, winter meets with the spring on Maslenitsa. Traditionally, a straw figure called “Didukh” is burned, symbolizing a farewell to the winter.

[Anatoly Petryuk, Participant]:
„It is made from the reeds and straw. Reeds are inside, and straw is outside. Then it is burned, and thus, winter ends.“

On the last day of the celebrations, people bow to each other and ask for forgiveness.

Maslenitsa is celebrated for a week.

NTD, Kiev, Ukraine.


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