PBLesson Russian holiday “Maslenitsa”- a symbol of winter.

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Russian holiday “Maslenitsa”- a symbol of winter.

  1. Idea of the project. Studying of “Maslenitsa” holiday, characteristic features of food and pictures/images that present this custom/tradition.
  2. Target. Learning a variety of approaches for celebrating this ancient tradition in Russia, it’s meaning for the Russian people, presenting the according/respective information skill, making salty/savory and sweet pancakes.


21th century skills Learning  and technological skills Teaching methods and approaches  




Information and communication ·         Educational:



–  Maslenitsa custom;


–  the glee/merriment of Russian people;


– people’s feelings ;


– recipes for a variety of pancakes;


– the mastery/mastership  of Russian painters depicting/representing the positive emotions of the celebrating and their  national color.


·         Disciplinary:


– team working skills;


–  sense of responsibility in the performance of tasks;


– organizing the work precisely;



Research/Study -use of different websites to find the necessary information on the topic






Abilities for selecting and providing the accurate/proper information



Abilities to indite




Abilities to properly combine the ingredients of the meals prepared.

Cogitation skills – Aesthetic sense.


– Correct selection of the necessary/topical information.


– Satisfaction with the work done.

Lessons development Evaluation by classmates/schoolmates
Personal and workplace skills -Tasks allocating/allotting.


-Keeping the labor and technological discipline.


– Preparing meals on certain recipes.


Combining the ingredients of the meals.





– Observation






Fulfillment goals/ Performance targets:

To Learn:

  • What kind of custom “Maslenitsa” is.
  • How and where is the celebration.
  • Which are the meals consumed.

To do:

  • Presentations about ‘Maslenitsa” and the paintings in which it is depicted
  • To prepare sweet and salty/savory pancakes using prefabricated recipes.

Evaluation: Scorecard

      Main group products:  pancakes.

     Main individual products: honey, jam, fruits, caviar, cheese, yellow cheese.

    Result evaluation and reporting:

Teamwork, critical/judicial thinking, problem solving, verbal communication.

  Other evaluation methods: Observation, self evaluation, research, discussion.

Management of the learning process:

  1. Preperation.
  2. Introductory part.
  3. Main part.
  4. Conclusion.

Staged description of the project- based lesson:


The teacher had divided the students in 5 groups in advance. He/she had given a staged objective task to each group:

Group number 1:  How isMaslenitsa” celebrated in Russia.

Group number 2: To list the variety of pancakes and to present recipes for making Russian ones.

Group number 3: To list recipes of salty/savory pancakes using wheat and buckwheat flour.

Group number 4: To list recipes for sweet pancakes.

Group number 5:  “Maslenitsa” in the paintings of Russian painters.


The teacher provides guidance on the course of the lesson and opens with brief information about theMaslenitsacustom.

The good thing in each folk’s traditions and customs is that they can modify./ Traditions and customs in each folks are nice because they are able to modify. Some get old and forgotten, while other live on in new forms. As a rule traditions have left deep roots in the history since pagan times/periods.

For many centuries the citizens of Russia honor the pagan holidays believing in legends and folk omens. Christianity gave to the Russians Christmas and Easter holidays, and paganism – Maslenitsa. What is Maslenitsa and why this holiday is so loved and has become part of the Russians’ life.

Most holidays in Russia are celebrated in family circles at home. Maslenitsa is an exception – a symbol of winter, when people ride, eat, drink tea and have fun in nature, despite the cold weather.

Maslenitsa or so called sirna nedelia (sirna Sunday) is a holiday that the Slavs commemorated since the antiquity. This tradition is about sending off the winter and greeting the long-awaited spring.

Following the adoption of Christianity in Russia Maslenitsa remains one of the most joyous and bright holidays.

Interestingly, in ancient times Maslenitsa’s celebration lasted two weeks, but in 1698 Patriarch Adrian wanted to destroy this “devil’s holiday”, as he called it, but after he failed to do so he shortened the time of celebration to one week only.


Students from group number one provide information of how Maslenitsa is celebrated in Russia by introducing a presentation on this topic:


Maslenitsa is celebrated in February or in March. For a whole week people send off winter preparing delicious pancakes and visiting their friends and relatives. During this week the Orthodox custom forbids the consumption of meat, only dairy and fish are allowed. The tradition ordines that whoever does not rejoice during Maslenitsa the whole year would be unlucky.

The holiday’s main feast are pancakes – round, hot, golden. They symbolize the sun and bring energy to the people. Pancakes adorn the table and come with caviar, honey, cream.

During the celebration all try to forget the troubles and concerns, they organize delicious feasts and give presents for friends and relatives. Traditionally, on the first day of Maslenitsa is made a straw scarecrow dressed in women’s clothing, rides on a sleigh adorned with drawings and then driven to a spot from which to be able to see the arrival of spring.

Russians celebrate with such fervor, specific only for people sending a really long winter. Young people skate sleigh led by horses, hit each other with snowballs, then build fires that they jump.  The lads arrange fist fights and competitions.

Maslenitsa is a street festival. All gather around to eat delicious foods, to celebrate and socialize with each other. Hot tea boiled in samovar, cookies, nuts and pancakes are soled near the skating rinks.

They send off Maslenitsa at the last day of the sirna week. The straw scarecrow is taken out of town and then burned with songs. The meaning of this custom lies in the fact that winter should not interfere with the coming of spring, as people believe that the outgoing winter symbolizes the end of everything old. People celebrate, dance, sing songs about the sun, the spring and the new harvest. The custom on this day is to seek forgiveness from parents, relatives and friends, and also to do good deeds.


After the presentation the teacher and students discuss and compare the Russian Maslenitsa to similar Bulgarian traditions and holidays.


The students from group number two list some of the many types of pancakes.

Pancakes can be offered as an appetizer, main dish or dessert. They are a favorite dish of many nations and therefore are known worldwide. According to products that are used for different ways of cooking they are:

  • Sweetand savory
  • Friedand baked
  • Pancakeswithwheat flour
  • Pancakes withbuckwheatflour
  • Pancakeswithrye flour
  • Pancakeswithrice flour
  • Pancakeswithoatmeal
  • Pancakeswithcorn flour
  • Meatlesspancakes
  • Dietetic pancakes
  • Vegetarian pancakes
  • Russianpancakes
  • Frenchpancakes
  • Americanpancakes
  • Scandinavian/Nordic pancakes
  • Dutch/Netherlandishpancakes
  • Mexicanpancakes
  • Englishpancakes
  • Pancakes from Central European countries
  • Asian pancakes
  • African pancakes

Students make a brief characterization of the listed types of pancakes and present a recipe for Russian ones.

Ingredients: 300 g. white flour, 3 pcs. of eggs / XL /, 500 ml. warm milk, 200 ml. boiling water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1/3 teaspoon of salt, 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Add more butter for greasing the pan and the fried pancakes.

Preparation method:

  1. The eggs, sugar and salt are beaten lightly with a whisk.
  2. Afterwards300 ml. ofwarmmilk is added and stirring constantly. Then are added portionsof the sifted flour.Mixwelltoobtainahomogeneousmixture.
  3. Graduallyaddtheremainingmilk,boilingwater/smalldosesunderconstantstirring/andfinally themeltedbutterandlet it rest/prove for 30 minutes.
  4. Fry the pancakes over medium heat in a pan, greased with butter.
  5. Servewith cheese,jam, honey, stirred caviar, chocolate, ice cream, stewed vegetables.

After that the students show Russian pancakes with honey preformed by the same recipe.


The students from group number three present the wheat and buckwheat/savory pancake recipes to the audience.

Wheat flour pancakes

Ingredients: 650 ml milk, 350 g. of flour, 30 g. sugar, 5 pcs. of eggs, 5 g. salt 70 ml oil, 15 g. butter for spreading the pancakes.  

Preparation method:

  1. Eggs and sugar are mixed and scrambled together.
  2. Under continuousstirringadd1/3 ofwarmmilk,the flour, the rest of the milk and salt.
  3. Strain the thin paste and fry the pancakes on both sides in a heated and well oiled pan.
  4. The pre pancakes are placed over one another and smeared with butter.
  5. Forstuffingusecheese,mushrooms, ham, mince, chicken, porkandmore.

Pancakes with buckwheat flour

Ingredients: 330 g. buckwheat flour, 300 ml of water, 3 g. salt, a pinch of sugar, 1 pc. egg, oil; for garnish: 150 g. salmon fillet, 1-2 onions.


Preparation method:


  1. Place the milk, eggs, salt and oil into a large bowl and mix well.

    2. If necessary, adjust the quantity of water and flour until you obtain the standard thickness of pancake paste.

  2. Allow to liefor 10-15 minutes.Meantimecutthe onion in half-moon/crescent shape in andtear the salmon fillets.
  3. Fry the pancakes on both sides in a heated and well oiled pan.

    5. Place the separately fried onion and fish between each pancake. Serve the pancake folded like an envelope.


Students show precooked wheat flour pancakes stuffed with cheese.

The students from group number four present sweet pancakes recipes.

Ingredients: 250 grams of flour, 500 ml milk 3 large or 4 small eggs, 2 pinches of salt, 1 tablespoon of icing sugar, 1 packet of vanilla, frying oil, 20 grams of melted butter.
Preparation method:

  1. Place the eggs and half of the milk in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Addsalt, melted butter, powdered sugarand vanilla.3. Pourthe second halfof the milk. Capp the mixtureand let itliefor half an hourat room temperature beforefrying.
    4.The egg proteins should be well beaten in order to make fine pancakes.
  3. Fry both sidesover low heat.
  4. 6.Servesprinkled with powderedsugarorstuffed withchocolate, honey,jam,cream, fruits.
  5. They could also be served with two other fillings:

    І – jam with added liquor to it;

    ІІ – pre-steamed: 4 grated apple, 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar, 1/2 coffee spoon of cinnamon, 20 g butter, orange and lemon juice.


Fruit pancakes

Ingredients: flour – 250 g., Milk – 500 ml., eggs – 3 br., cooking oil – 1 tablespoon, butter- 20 g., powdered sugar – 1 tablespoon, vanilla – 1 package, salt – 3 g, oranges – 100 g., bananas – 100 g., kiwi – 100 g., strawberries – 100 g., sweet cream  – 150 g.



Preparation method:

  1. Mix the flour, eggs and half themilk in a bowl. Stir rapidly in until you obtain a smooth mixture.

2.Add the melted butter, salt, sugar and the rest of the milk. Then mix well.

  1. Cap it and then let it lie at a room temperature for one hour.
  2. Meanwhile, pre-heat a frying pan and gently smear with oil. Pour a ladle full of the mixture. Fry the pancakes on both sides.
  3. While arranging the pancakes in a plate sprinkle each one with powdered sugar so they don’t stick.
  4. Clean the fruits well, cut to small cubes and mix them in a bowl. Place even portions of the cut fruits on each pancake. Put sour cream on each pancake.


The students demonstrate precooked pancakes stuffed with chocolate and bananas.

Students from group number five present Russian painters’ paintings illustrating Maslenitsa while a presentation is played on the background.

Maslenitsa is a holiday that combines elements of Christianity and paganism, and is steeped/saturated with Russian spirit, folk heart, national color and a lot of joy/glee. All of this is reflected/represented in the Russian artists’ paintings. Each one of them represents Maslenitsa in his own way. Some of them literally depict the glee of the Russians, conveying the people’s joy and the freshness of the chilly air. Others depict the Lent as a very skinny person, while Maslenitsa is represented as a fat one. Everything is represented so simple that even children can characterize and describe the stories behind the painting.

The artists’ works are dedicated to the mass merriment and are filled with warmth and glee. Painters’ goal is to represent the whirl of emotions. The brightness of the events is introduced with optimism and even with humor.

Talented artists had created a huge amount of pictures that can still be seen in galleries, museums and private collections. Here are some of the most famous ones:

  • N.Serrakapriola 1817 г.
  • LeonidSolomatkin
  • E.Makovskiy-“National merrimentduringMaslenitsaofAdmiraltySquarein St. Petersburg” 1869
  • N.Gruzinskiy-“Maslenitsa” 1889
  • RudolphFedorowiczFrenz-“Maslenitsa” 1903
  • ValentinBelyih-“Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Maslenitsa”, 1908
  • I.Surikov-“The Capture ofsnowtown”
  • Boris Kustodiev-“Maslenitsa” 1916, 1917, 1920,”Winter”, 1919, the “Village Maslenitsa”, 1920
  • Metisov-“Wide Maslenitsa”, 1990
  • ValerySyirov-“Maslenitsa”,1998-1999
  • AnatolyNikolaevichShelyakin-“Maslenitsa”, 2001
  • IgorShaymardanov-Pskovcycle”Maslenitsa”
  • SemenKozhin-“Send-off.Russia 17 century”. 2001
  • -A.Nagornov-“Fair”
  • AnnaCherkashina-“Maslenitsa”, 2002
  • AnnaVinogradova-“Maslenitsa”, 2005and many otherpainters.



At the end of the lesson, the teacher summarizes the performance of different groups of students and provides assessment of themselves with scores out of six, each group evaluates the next one/the next in line.


All students have a bite of/out of the pancakes.




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