Vasil Vasilev, Bulgaria – Bachelor’s student, Information Security
I like spring very much! When it comes, the weather becomes warmer and you can easily walk outside. Nature is awakening, trees and flowers are blooming everywhere, and green prevails. I really don’t celebrate Maslenitsa, but I always welcome this part of the year with pancakes, since in my country we have a similar holiday called Baba Marta. We celebrate it on March 1, all people give each other martenitsas, which look like badges or bracelets made of white and red yarn, and mean that the person is healthy. They are worn until the moment a person sees a flowering tree or a stork, then the maslenitsa is tied to a tree to signify fertility.
Nikesh Acharya, Nepal – Bachelor’s student, Software Engineering and Computer Systems
I like spring because mother nature opens her eyes, makes us forget the pain and feel surrounded by a beautiful environment. I don’t have any tradition or a special way to celebrate Maslenitsa, I usually just walk around the city. Unfortunately, I haven’t tried any Russian pancakes yet, but I hope to try them soon. They’re so famous here, they should be delicious. We have a similar dish in Nepal called paratha.
Maxim Urbaev, Ulan-Ude, Russia – Bachelor’s student, Infocommunication Technologies
Spring is the time winter ends and nature starts waking up. The temperature rises and you don’t have to wear heavy winter clothes, usually there are more sunny days. That’s why I love it. I was born in a city with two cultures, where all the people celebrate both Russian and Buryat holidays. My mom always cooks pancakes, actually it’s the only thing my family does. This year I’m far from my parents, so I’m not sure if I will cook anything special for myself. The pancakes are awesome! My favorite one is with butter and white sugar. Also, meat or caviar are not bad. Sour cream or any fruit jams are perfect for pancakes, too.
Allison Ascanio, Colombia – Bachelor’s student, Biotechnology
I love spring. It's the return of the sun, nice weather, and flowers. It fills the city with good energy and a warm atmosphere. Speaking about Maslenitsa, I don't celebrate it but I would like to join the celebration from the university this year to get to know this special date a bit better, and eat lots of blini because I love them! Since in Colombia we don't have seasons, we have no celebrations similar to Maslenitsa, but just like in Russia, food is an important part of every holiday. For example, during Holy Week, we share traditional homemade desserts with our neighbors and family.
Maxim Klochko, St. Petersburg, Russia – Bachelor’s student, Technological Management and Innovations
The beginning of spring is awful. Everything melts and freezes all the time in March and April, but I really like May, when celebrations there are long and important. It’s also the time when warm weather comes to St. Petersburg. And of course, I love Maslenitsa: I eat my mother's pancakes two or three days in a row. At school, we had a great tradition: all my schoolmates brought their mothers’ pancakes with different fillings, so every pancake was different by consistency, taste and size. It was awesome! Also, twice I did the same with my mates from university, but of course we cooked the pancakes ourselves. My favorite pancakes are with condensed milk or with different jams from the dacha made by your grandma.
Gabriel Guerra, Ecuador – Master’s student, Infocommunication Technologies
Spring is a beautiful season because life starts again in nature. Trees start to become green again and animals are more active. The same happens with humans. As for this traditional holiday called Maslenitsa, I only know that on this date Russians celebrate the end of winter, they burn a doll and eat pancakes. In my country, we do not have seasons. So sadly, we do not have anything similar to Maslenitsa.
Daria Efimova, Magnitogorsk, Russia – Russian as a Foreign Language teacher
I love spring! The days get longer, it is bright and sunny and it's a great pleasure to see the burst of bright colors on trees and lawns. It's like a breath of fresh air. For Maslenitsa, I usually make pancakes – this year is no exception. I prefer pancakes with salmon and cream cheese, honey, or condensed milk. Usually, all the cities in Russia have their own celebration, a yearly festival, but I’ve never attended one.
To celebrate Maslenitsa, there are several interesting events happening around St.Petersburg, one of those is the traditional Maslenitsa festival in Yelagin Island. Discover more about this Russian tradition and celebrate properly this festivity by making your own delicious blinis and reading our special about Maslenitsa from last year.
Prepared by Juan Sebastian Velasquez