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Belarusian Villagers Cast Out 'Rusalka'

Residents of Vialiki Bor in southern Belarus recently took part in the folk tradition of expelling a "rusalka," or water sprite, from their village in order to ensure a good harvest. During the traditional celebration, villagers bring a young woman dressed as a mermaid to a field of rye, where they strip wreaths from her and throw them into a bonfire. The mermaid is then escorted out of the village so that she doesn't interfere with crop production or cause conflicts among neighbors. (Video by RFE/RL's Belarus Service)