Tuesday 15 March 2016

How Polish people welcome spring

How Polish people welcome spring


Straw dummy  
personifying winter  



Straw dummy personifying winter, in Polish called “Marzanna” – is a Slavic  goddess  who symbolizes  winter and death.  It is also the name for an effigy that is burnt or drowned in a river to say goodbye to winter. People believe that if they burn or drown the doll representing the goddess of death, the winter will end and spring will begin. The effigy is usually made of straw, wrapped in white cloth and adorned with ribbons and necklaces. Traditionally, the effigy is carried past every house in the village by a group of children holding a green juniper twigs. Marzanna is dipped in a stream in the village. In the evening the effigy is passed to the youth; the juniper twigs are lit, and Marzanna is carried out of the village, burned and thrown into water. Nowadays children most often make often such straw dolls at school and then they throw it into the river and sing songs about spring. It is usually celebrated at spring equinox on 21 March.