The Eastern Slavs were pagans and worshipped many gods. Dažbog (also known as Jarilo or Hors) was the god of the sun. Stribog was the god of the wind, Perun was the god of thunder, Veles was the god of cattle and wealth. When winter came to an end, the Slavs welcomed spring by baking round pancakes symbolising the sun and burning straw effigies of winter.

The Eastern Slavs revered the dead. They buried their princes with great solemnity, building enormous burial mounds above the sites of their cremation. When a prince died, his wife and horses were put to death and buried alongside him. A suit of armour, guns, household objects and food and drink were placed in the grave. The funeral was accompanied by a wake and military display. Funerals of common men were more modest. Only the most essential objects were placed in the grave.

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