Maslenitsa, that is. More on that in a minute. 

You may have noticed that I changed the toppy bit of the blog. The picture was silly because although that is our train station, and it is beautiful and turquoise, the “Cherepovets” part pictured no longer exists, whether due to the wishes of the train station maintenance team or to high winds. Also, the part about Berlin was more than a little irrelevant.

If someone gets lost easily, the Russians can say that that person is “lost in three pines.” This strikes me as an appropriate parallel for my travels on more than one level. 

If New Year’s is Russian revelry at its most depressing, then (from what I know) Maslenitsa is Russian revelry at its most ancient and thrilling. It’s the equivalent of our Mardi Gras, but better. There are three main events:
1. Pancakes. Well, bliny. They are said to represent the sun. 
2. Burning the chuchula, a giant straw doll (they call it a “scarecrow” in English, which is dumb, because scarecrows are for scaring crows, and chuchuli are for burning), which symbolizes the winter, and is burned in order to hurry up the durn springtime
3. Naked wrestling.

Should be a fun time. 

Here’s a video of the thrill of Maslenitsa in action:  The accordion is playing chastushki, which you may remember from an earlier post. 

Oh, and on the note of springtime coming–we got 8 inches of snow today. Eight.