Ivana Kupala holiday in Slavic countries

July 5, 2018 at 6.50am by in Slavic Women

Slavic countries

Slavic Ivana Kupala Day, also known as Kupala Night, is a historical and rather popular holiday which Slavic people celebrate on the night of 6/7 July. Slavic countries celebrate the summer solstice and on this night people perform lots of rituals. Especially relevant, this holiday is celebrated in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Poland.

This holiday has a deep early mythology. However, it was a pagan fertility rite which later on was accepted into the Orthodox Christian Calendar. It coincides with the celebrating of St. John’s Day in Western Europe. Slavic name Ivan combines with John the Baptist and that is why this day is considered to be a pagan celebration. Nevertheless, Ivana Kupala Day is an observance day only and not a public holiday in Ukraine.

Slavic traditions and what people do

Slavic countries

More relevant, Slavic Kupala Night is rather rich with its superstitions, rituals and ceremonies. On this very day, fire and water are sacral. They have purifying qualities. People wash in a river, pond or lake and in such a way they get rid of negative energy and evil.

This is a fest of beauty, youth, loving hearts. However, ladies make various drinks and give them to guys. After they jump together over the fire whilst holding their hands tightly. If they do not split the hands whilst jumping over this fire they will be a happy couple and most likely will stay together forever. Ladies always float wreaths of flowers with candles over the river. The way this wreath flows is a road to lady’s future boyfriend and probably future spouse. There are numerous poems and songs people sing on this very night. Young people are having fun and do not sleep until the sunrise. Couples usually meet a fabulous sunrise together and make wishes. Hence, people like wearing national clothes and singing folk songs, playing national musical instruments.

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