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In Photos: Russians Welcome Winter's End with Maslenitsa Festivities

People in Russia heralded the end of another cold winter as Maslenitsa festivities took place across the country this weekend.

Maslenitsa, which is rooted in ancient Slavic tradition, involves the burning of effigies, wearing traditional costumes, singing and dancing.

But most important is the cooking and eating blini, a thin, crepe-like pancake that symbolizes the arrival of the springtime sun. For this reason, Maslenitsa is often called Pancake Week by English speakers.

The week of Maslenitsa also takes place before the start of Lent for Orthodox Christians, meaning it is the last chance for more devout Russians to take part in parties, dancing and other festivities before the Lenten season.

Here's a look at this year's festivities: