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Russians Torch ‘Flaming Gothic’ in Ancient Maslenitsa Ritual

Russians this week celebrated Maslenitsa, a Slavic folk festival with pagan roots, which marks the beginning of Lent.

In a tiny village in the Kaluga region 150 kilometers southwest of Moscow, a traditional bonfire was lit on Saturday in the Nikola-Lenivets Art Park.

Instead of burning an effigy of a scarecrow, festival organizers departed from tradition by torching a wooden cathedral.