We also have a similar celebration called «Maslenitsa» held in March in Belarus. The festive is a fusion between pagan rite and Christian traidition. It’s held on the last week before longest fasting that leads to Easter. However, most attributes of the festive are pagan in origin. The main attribute are тче pan-cakes that symoblise the sun and the straw doll also known as Marena (Morana, Smrtka in other Slavic languages), which is burnt on the last day of celebration to symbolise the end of winter.
The burning of Marena : http://www.belintourist.com/img/1128/2%20maslenitsa_0x0_tr.jpg
Another picture of Hukanne viasny celebration : http://oi59.tinypic.com/2w40iet.jpg