Spring Delights

  • Especially in the North, the arrival of spring used to be celebrated with a feast.
  • In Russia, Maslenitsa (Cheesefare Week) still takes place at the end of March.
  • The ritual burning of the effigy of Winter is part of the celebration. Its ashes are scattered in the wind over the fields to sanctify the earth.
  • The festivities symbolize the revival of the land and its fertility.

In this painting we can imagine Spring as a conqueror, triumphantly arriving to put an end to a long period of darkness and cold. The new season is joyfully received by the trees of the North as they stretch skyward. This ecstatic crowd in white garments tosses up a fountain of pink and white flowers like confetti.

As expressed by the Russian playwright Alexander Griboedov in Woe from Wit, his famous comedy of manners, "The women shouted Hurrah and threw their bonnets in the air."