Drowning of Marzanna

One of the most vital pagan customs in Poland is “drowning of Marzanna”. Marzanna is usually a straw effigy of a well-dressed woman symbolizing winter and death. To end the winter the effigy is usually setting on fire or drowning in a river (or both).

Nowadays the ceremony is held on March 21, the first day of the calendar spring, but in the past the festival was held on the fourth Sunday of Lent. In past centuries before drawning Marzanna was carried through the village then soaked in every puddle. After throwing her into the water touching the puppet was forbidden as it could bring unhappiness! Then kids decorated a pine tree with flowers and colored baubles what symbolized the spring.

In present Poland the Marzanna ceremony is usually held by the younger kids but still brings joy to adults!


That old folk custom survived also in the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Slovakia

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