Maslenitsa: Crepe Day Celebration (March, 12, 2016)
- No matter our culture, race, class, or upbringing, one thing most people can agree upon – we LOVE it when Winter ends and Spring rolls around! Many cultures have their own way of celebrating this momentous annual event (much like Americans and Groundhog Day), and Russia is no different. Preceding the upcoming celebration of Lent, Russians celebrate one of their oldest surviving holidays, called Masletnitsa, or Crepe Day. Kung Fu of Golden Dragon will be bringing this fun tradition to its students on March 12th as we seek to increase awareness and knowledge of our school's founders' history and customs.
- Maslenitsa is an age-old custom practiced all over Russia by both ardently religious people and more secularly inclined citizens alike. It is seen by some as a last chance to let loose and enjoy many things that they are not allowed during Lent, such as rich foods and partying. It is chiefly seen as the day when Winter becomes Spring. People celebrate by making pounds upon plates of bliny, the customary delicacy of the region, and holding activities such as dressing up in traditional garb, sledding, snowball fights, and eating a whole bunch of crepes.
- The festival reaches a fever pitch when Lady Maslenitsa, a large doll crafted from rags and straw, is set afire as families and friends parade around her to chime in the new Spring season. Some people even throw spare bliny on the embers or jump over the fire to symbolize good fortune and growth in the coming year. Much like kung fu, these activities symbolize boldly and bravely moving through difficulties and getting rid of unnecessary things in order to achieve and gain better things and grow anew.
- At Kung Fu of Golden Dragon, our Crepe Day will be just as fun, even if we won't be burning a massive straw doll in the middle of Santa Monica Blvd. (Fire Safety codes and all, you know how it is). We will be celebrating in our own way, with arts and crafts for the family, kung fu games, dancing, and (of course) plenty of food. Our festivities will begin at 3:00 at the dojo and will go until the last person is full from food and fun! It will also be the day that we introduce our new Russian Language and Literature course at our school, taught by Alisa, a professor from Russia. We hope to see you all there to help Spring get sprung!