"Morena" was taken out to the river, lit on fire and thrown into the Botic river so that winter would leave and spring could finally come. Morena is a scarecrow who represents old woman winter. The ancient custom of chasing out winter and welcoming spring dates back to Pagan times was celebrated at Prague's Toulcuv Dvur this weekend.
I am here at Toulcuv Dvur, it's still winter, there's snow everywhere, there is a cold breeze but the birds are singing. Today we are going to say good-bye to winter. I am spoke to Martina Chvatalova about this ancient tradition:
"We make a puppet called Morena or Marena- it depends on the part of Bohemia where the custom is being practiced. People carry the puppet and while carrying it, they sing a song that is something like, "winter you bad woman, now we are taking you to the river and winter will be over."
Now we are walking down with the witch in the front, held by two boys. She is made of straw and wearing a flowered dress and people are singing a song marking the end of winter. I spoke to one father who brought his children to the event:
"I would like to teach my children as much as possible about their roots, especially old traditions. This is our life, our traditions are treasures!"
We have gathered at the edge of the river with old woman of winter and we are going to light her up.
It's not good to look to see whether she is floating or not once she is thrown into the river.
Now everyone is suppose to run away! Let's hope winter is finally behind us and spring can blossom!