Festivals marking the end of winter were held recently in the Russian Republic - the central, and mainly agricultural region of the Soviet Union.
MV Crowds in streets and posters
MV Float with winter queen and escort waving
CU Girls dancing and PAN TO crowd
MV animal drawn sleighs carrying children (2 shots)
MV & CU horse-drawn Troika with bells (sound) (4 shots)
Initials AE/1645 AE/16.58
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Background: Festivals marking the end of winter were held recently in the Russian Republic - the central, and mainly agricultural region of the Soviet Union.
The traditional festivities are usually held in towns and villages in the first few days of spring and are marked by their colour and gaiety. The custom dates back to pre-Christian times in Russia when the coming of spring heralded the promise of new crops and relief from the bitter cold of winter.
Even the coming of Christianity did not change some of the personalities involved in the festivities. Heroes of ancient folk-tales still lead the celebrations with clowns and jesters. Each year Winter Maidens are chosen to preside over the festivities. To celebrate the long-awaited Spring, the Russians go driving in the traditional Troika sledges, ride on reindeer, and play winter games.
The spring festival, which has now lost its religious character, is celebrated as part of the traditions of the rural areas of the Soviet Union.