Calgary Russian Family Photographer - Maslenitsa
As many of you know I am originally from Russia, although I have been living in Canada for the past 25 years, Russian heritage and of course my accent is something that will always stay with me :-). I had the idea of this specific photoshoot for a very long time and I was so glad that I was able to finally accomplish it during the Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday called - “Maslenitsa”.
Maslenitsa is the oldest surviving slavic holiday. It is celebrated during the last week before Great Lent, that is, the eighth week before Orthodox Easter (Pasxa). It is usually observed by Russian, Belarusians and Ukrainian communities worldwide. In Slavic mythology, Maslenitsa is a sun-festival and a celebration of the imminent end of the winter.
The most characteristic food of Maslenitsa is “Blini” - thin pancakes or crepes, made from the rich foods still allowed by the Orthodox tradition that week: butter, eggs and milk. Since Lent excludes parties, secular music, dancing and other distractions from spiritual life, Maslenitsa represents the last chance to take part in social activities that are not appropriate during the more prayerful, sober and introspective Lenten season.
My goddaughter Isabella and her older sister Diana were my perfect little models for this photoshoot - dressed in the traditional Russian clothes and headscarfs and drinking tea from traditional dishes and a “Samovar” - a heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water in Russia and eating “pryaniki” - Russian gingerbread cookies - I couldn’t wish for any better outcome!