Russians Celebrate Ivan Kupala Holiday

The Slavic folk holiday of Ivan Kupala is celebrated on July 7. It is dedicated to the flowering of nature and the summer solstice. The holiday coincides with the Nativity of John the Baptist who predicted the birth of Jesus Christ and then baptized him in the waters of the Jordan, vtomske reports. 

The culmination of the holiday is the night from July 6 to July 7, called “the Kupala Night”. At this time, it is customary to collect medicinal herbs, look for the cherished fern flower, make ritual bonfires, and arrange mass bathing.

This day is considered the first official day of swimming, as they believe that before July 7, mermaids can play and take you too deep into the water, so that you can drown. The first swim in a pond should be done alone on the evening of July 6, before sunset. According to legends, this time water spirits fall asleep at the bottom of reservoirs and will not be able to disturb the swimmers.

Also, on Ivan Kupala, closer to sunset, on the banks of reservoirs or on hills, it was customary to kindle Kupala bonfires jumping through which helps to cleanse and attract happiness. It was also customary for girls to choose their betrothed one and holding hands with him jump over the Kupala bonfire. If during the jump the hands remain together, then this is a sign for a wedding, if the hands are apart, a couple is meant to break up.

Another popular fortune-telling for Ivan Kupala is associated with a wreath. You need to weave a divination wreath from wild plants and flowers. The wreath should be lowered into the water and if it swam far away the wish will come true but if it is beaten to the shore, it will not.

In addition, many weather signs are associated with the holiday. If there is a downpour on this day, then a long drought is ahead. But getting caught in the rain on July 7 means for a person good luck in money. A rainbow promises great luck and sunny and cloudless weather – an abundance of crops.

Ru-Main, 07.07.2021 

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