Romanian children and youth spin burning tires and light fires in the Transylvanian hills in a ritual that marks the beginning of Orthodox Lent.

Dozens of young residents gathered on a hill outside the village of Poplaca, in the foothills of the Cindrel mountains on March 10, a day before the annual “Clean Monday” ritual, which is traditionally believed to ward off evil spirits before the onset of Lent.

As night fell, teenagers spin around flaming old car tires attached to metal chains, spraying burning rubber and making loud noises.

In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The children, some with their faces blackened from soot, jumped over fires during the festivities outside the village, about 315 kilometers (200 miles) northwest of Bucharest.

Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter on April 28 this year, a week later than Western Christians. Clean Monday, also known as Pure Monday and Ash Monday, traditionally begins on the Sunday evening before, and is seen as the last opportunity for culinary excess and partying before Lent begins.

In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a boy walks holding a metal chain, during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a boy walks holding a metal chain, during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a children sit on tires during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a children sit on tires during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this picture taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a children and youngsters stand by burning tires during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this picture taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a children and youngsters stand by burning tires during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, children spin burning tires during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, children spin burning tires during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a boy pauses during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a boy pauses during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a little girl struggles to lift a tire during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a little girl struggles to lift a tire during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a child cries after arguing with another during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a child cries after arguing with another during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a little girl spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a little girl spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a little girl laughs during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a little girl laughs during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a little girl rests leaning against used tires during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a little girl rests leaning against used tires during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this picture taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this picture taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a little girl laughs lifting a tire before a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a little girl laughs lifting a tire before a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man throws a tire during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man throws a tire during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this picture taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, children jump after pushing a burning tire during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this picture taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, children jump after pushing a burning tire during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man spins a burning tire on a metal chain during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man runs to stop a burning tire on a metal chain from rolling downhill during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a young man runs to stop a burning tire on a metal chain from rolling downhill during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a boy holds a tire, during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a boy holds a tire, during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a child spins a burning tire on a metal chain, during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a child spins a burning tire on a metal chain, during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, children play with used tires before a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, children play with used tires before a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a boy spins a burning tire on a metal chain, during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania's Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
In this photo taken on Sunday, March 10, 2019, a boy spins a burning tire on a metal chain, during a ritual marking the upcoming Clean Monday, the beginning of the Great Lent, 40 days ahead of Orthodox Easter, on the hills surrounding the village of Poplaca, in central Romania’s Transylvania region. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

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