"MARZANNA IS THE SLAVIC GODDESS OF WINTER. SHE WAS, IN PRE-CHRISTIAN TIMES, ASSOCIATED WITH DEATH, WINTER, AND THE HARVEST. SHE WAS WORSHIPED AS THE MOTHER AND GODDESS OF CORN AND HELD IN VERY SPECIAL REVERENCE. SHE APPEARS AS AN OLD WOMAN DRESSED IN WHITE WHO BECOMES A HAG WHEN WINTER HITS AND SLOWLY DIES OFF. SHE IS SOMETIMES ASSOCIATED WITH WITCHCRAFT AND DIVINATION.
TO INVITE AND WELCOME SPRING, AS WELL AS ARRANGE PROPER FAREWELL FOR WINTER, THE SLAVS WOULD CELEBRATE AND OLD PAGAN CUSTOM KNOWN AS THE "SINKING OF MARZANNA". EACH SPRING AN EFFIGY OF "OLD WOMAN WINTER" MADE FROM SHEAVES OF GRAIN WAS CARRIED THROUGH THE VILLAGE AND THROWN, AMID REJOICING, INTO THE NEAREST RIVER TO BANISH THE COLD OF WINTER AND WELCOME THE WARMTH OF SPRING. THIS DROWNING OF " MARZANNA "IS A REPRESENTATION OF THE SUN'S REBIRTH, HOW IT COMES BACK, IT'S RAYS STRONGER, MELTING SNOW AND BRINGING IN SPRING, LIFE. THIS RITUAL IS STILL DONE TODAY IN CERTAIN RURAL AREAS OF THE SLAVIC COUNTRIES.
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