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During the Russian religious holiday of 'Maslenitsa' (Shrovetide) it is traditional to burn a big doll (Lady Maslenitsa). In pagan tradition Maslenitsa is a sun festival that celebrates the imminent end of winter. For the city of Norilsk, where winter lasts over nine months, the festival has a special meaning and it's usually celebrated in March. <br />
The city of Norilsk, in the far north of Russia's Krasnoyarsk region, was founded in the 1920s and today has a population of just over 175,000. In its early years it served as the centre of Norillag (or the Norilsk Corrective Labour Camp) but was given town status in 1953 as the Gulag system was slowly winding down. Today the city is largely dependent on MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world's leading producer of Nickel and palladium and Norilsk's main employer. In 2001, the city was closed to all non-Russians, except for citizens of Belarus.