The Pancake Week (Maslenitsa, Rus.: Масленица) is one of the most memorable Russian traditions.
When Christianity came to Russia, Slavic tribes did not know cheese or butter.
The name Maslenitsa (coming from the word "butter," maslo, Rus.: Масло) was created to explain what can be eaten during these days - dairy products, but not meat.
Russians celebrate the Pancake Week joyfully with pancakes (blini, Rus.: Блины), which are baked every day from Monday till Sunday, and outdoor activities & games.
On the last Sunday before Lent Christians Russians ask forgiveness from each other: "Please, forgive me!" The traditional answer is "God will forgive. And you forgive me."