The Russian Town of Nikola-Lenivets Celebrates the Coming of Spring by Burning a Giant Wooden Bridge

The creative town of Nikola-Lenivets in the Kaluga Region of Russia has become home to a great many festivals. One such festival takes place at the beginning of Spring to celebrate the traditional Slavic holiday of Maslenitsa. A large part of the ceremony includes the burning of a winter effigy.

The town held a competition and ultimately invited the architectural firm of Katarsis to build a giant effigy to be prominently featured to welcome in Spring 2020. The object they built was a bridge that would be burned. Before the burn, attendees were welcome to explore the bridge, become acquainted with it, and even walk across it.

The bridge embodies change, both global and personal, which is, most importantly, irreversible. …The Bridge grows right out of the field and spans the invisible river: it is a poetic symbol of space—and of time. The authors sought to evoke in the viewer a sense of personal participation in what is happening.

The bridge was burned in an elaborate ceremony that included a performance by La Pushkin Theater.

The performance was intended to unite people around the burning process. The audience became fully engaged in the events. People lined up in a huge ring. Everyone took firewood and put it on the Bridge, making a personal contribution to the future fire.

via Nag on the Lake