Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Maslenitsa, Pancake Tuesday or just, the second day of the work week, today is a spiritual day for many.
As the floats and costumes are prepared in New Orleans, so is the batter prepared around the world. Ready to parade across our plates in sympathetic reverence to the somber dirge that is Mardi Gras.
Sure it looks colourful and fun, but believe me, this is a serious occasion that requires our support and aid. Sure it’s the last day before the Christians starve themselves in annual penance, but it’s also the day we are called to battle the evil winter season. The Slavic God Jarilo of spring, rises up to fight the evil spirits of cold and darkness and like any great hero, thrives on adulation. So cook up those pancakes like your ancestors did and display one of these sun disks in the window like an election sign, showing support for your favourite team of vegetation and fertility, and let’s kick winter’s ass.
Who knew that the humble pancake on my plate would have such a rich and glorious history, that it can influence the very seasons.
UPDATE: as I was posting this,neither a lack of sufficient irony or a jealous God caused me to fall and seriously hurt my arm.
There should not be a fall when writing about winter and spring.
Off to wash the blood off and get some pain killers.
“Before the Christian era, the Slavs believed that the change of seasons was a struggle between Jarilo, the god of vegetation, fertility and springtime, and the evil spirits of cold and darkness. People believed that they had to help Jarilo fight against winter and bring in the spring. The most important part of Maslenitsa week (the whole celebration of the arrival of spring lasted one week) was making and eating pancakes. The hot, round pancakes symbolized the sun. The Slavs believed that by eating pancakes, they got the power, light and warmth of the sun. The first pancake was usually put on a window for the spirits of the ancestors. On the last day of Maslenitsa week some pancakes and other food were burnt in a bonfire as a sacrifice to the pagan gods.”-Wikipedia