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Western Russian province celebrates spring by burning the Night King from ‘Game of Thrones’ in effigy

Meduza

On the traditional East Slavic holiday of Maslenitsa, revelers celebrate the coming of spring by eating blintzes and burning a large straw doll to symbolize the resurrection of the world through the destruction of winter.

In Argamach Archeological Park, located in western Russia’s Lipetskaya Oblast, that doll took the form of the Night King, a prominent character in the Game of Thrones series. Photographs of its celebratory burning were posted on the social site Pikabu and the image service Imgur, where they were also spotted by English-speaking users.

Local residents have been burning the Night King in Argamach Park since 2017. However, Maslenitsa festival organizer Pavel Semyonov explained on his VKontakte profile that not everyone in the area approves of the Game of Thrones-themed celebration.

“The people who complain the most about preserving Russian traditions are the people who make seven grammatical errors, two punctuation errors, and a semantic error every time they try to string together five Russian words. They’ve yelled at us, cursed at us, and demanded that we ban [the effigy],” Semyonov complained.