Holy Cross to Celebrate Rad Slavic Holiday, “Pancake Week”

By Hannah Johnson ’21
Cat that really was gone

In an effort to draw more students to its Moscow study abroad program, Holy Cross reached out to Hannah Johnson ‘21, currently in Russia, for ideas on ways to get people excited and interested in Russian culture. 

“Hear me out, guys,” she said in a Skype call with the Holy Cross Study Abroad Department. “Мaсленица.”

“What?” replied one staff member. “Gesundheit,” said another.

“No, no. Let me explain. I never realized how lame American holidays were until I came to Russia. Maslenitsa is a fun Eastern Slavic religious holiday that celebrates the end of winter.”

After learning more about Maslenitsa and proposing the idea to administration, the admins immediately accepted the new campus holiday upon realizing it will allow campus members to have a little fun before Lent begins. The following activities are scheduled to commence at Holy Cross during the week before Lent:

  • For the entire week, the campus will feast primarily on pancakes, crepes, blini, and other delicious dishes. Pancakes, round and golden and wonderful, represent the sun.
  • A large effigy of a woman is to be built, made of straw, wood, and old clothes. This effigy represents wintertime.
  • The days of the week are to be filled with games, carnivals, and raucous celebration mixed with bountiful feasts of pancakes and delicious food. This celebration escalates each day, and climaxes on Thursday, when the *best* fistfights shall take place.
  • Sunday is the day of forgiveness (forgive anyone who tried to fistfight you.) Then, we shall burn the effigy of the winter-woman to the heckin’ ground, taking out our frustration about how long and disgusting Worcester winters are by throwing pancakes at her as she burns. 
Picture courtesy of Hannah Johnson ’21

“It’s nothing we can’t manage,” commented a Public Safety Officer when asked about the potential dangers of this holiday. “Yes, there will be fire, kids sledding down very steep College Hill slopes, fistfights and just general chaos. But if you ask me, it’s worth it, getting to eat pancakes and stuff for a whole week.” Everyone agreed.

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