Photos: An Ancient Ceremony to Celebrate the End of Winter

Maslenitsa is an ancient ceremony—a farewell to winter celebrated since pagan times in the Slavic regions of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and other countries. Maslenitsa, or Pancake Week, is both a folk and religious holiday tied to Shrovetide, the carnival before Lent. Some traditional festivities include the burning of effigies of “Lady Maslenitsa,” family visits, snowball fights, and the cooking and eating of blini, pancakes, or crepes. Below, some images of Maslenitsa this year from Russia, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan.

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