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Poles chase away winter by burning and drowning dolls

Clutching a gaudy homemade doll in flames, students gathered Thursday on a frosty footbridge in central Poland to toss it into the river -- an ancient rite repeated across the country every March 21. Chanting "Evil winter begone!", the students joined winter-weary Poles nationwide in the centuries-old tradition of burning "Marzanna" dolls to cast away the cold, illness and all other misery. "The initial plan was to drown one of the girls from class, but our teacher said no," joked Piotr Soldanski, 14, drawing laughs from his classmates in the town of Sierpc.

Poles chase away winter by burning and drowning dolls

Clutching a gaudy homemade doll in flames, students gathered Thursday on a frosty footbridge in central Poland to toss it into the river -- an ancient rite repeated across the country every March 21. Chanting "Evil winter begone!", the students joined winter-weary Poles nationwide in the centuries-old tradition of burning "Marzanna" dolls to cast away the cold, illness and all other misery. "The initial plan was to drown one of the girls from class, but our teacher said no," joked Piotr Soldanski, 14, drawing laughs from his classmates in the town of Sierpc.
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