Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Ivan Kupala

Since ancient times all peoples of the world have celebrated the end of June, the peak of the summer. Russia’s version of such a holiday is Ivan Kupala. On the night of 23 June, everyone celebrated this mystical but at the same time jolly holiday full of ritual acts, rules and prohibitions, songs, chants and all kinds of fortune-telling, legends, and beliefs. Even in the time of the ancient pagan deity Ancient Russians used to have Kupalo, the God of summer fertility. In his honor people of sang songs and jumped over the bonfire. This ritual act has become an annual celebration of summer solstice, combining a pagan and Christian traditions. Kupala got the name Ivan after the baptizing of Russia, when he was replaced by John the Baptist (the way he was percepted by common people), who baptized Christ and whose birthday was celebrated on 24 June. On that day people wore girths of flowers and wreaths of herbs. They reeled, sang songs, stoked bonfires with poles topped by burning wheel, the symbol of the sun. Songs that were sung in villages mentioned Kupala as loving, clean, and cheerful. On the day of Ivan Kupala girls made wreaths of herbs, and in the evening let them float on the water watching them go away. The sinking wreath meant the end of love and that there would be no wedding.

No comments: