Midsummer is perhaps the most extraordinary Ukrainian holiday, which successfully intertwined pagan and Christian traditions. What day it is, why it has appeared and how to celebrate it? Edition of the 24 channels have prepared for you a story about Ivan Kupala and ideas of celebration.
Day 2017 is celebrated on the night of 6 to 7 July falls on a Thursday and Friday.
As celebrating Midsummer pagans
Previously, Midsummer was celebrated during the summer solstice 20-22 June. The occasion was in honor of the Sun, so the celebration was when the sun came to the Zenith (the highest point of heaven), the days are longest and nights the shortest. Kupala our ancestors called the God of fertility, so the holiday was sexual in nature.
The main characters of the holiday was Kupalo and Marena. Their stuffed prepared in advance.
The celebration started in the evening and danced around the fire. This tradition has been preserved until now. And you know what represents the fire? Our ancestors believed that fire is the sun-the embryo in the womb. In the evening unmarried girls guessed on the groom. They wove a wreath and threw it into the water, and these guys were getting wreaths. If the guy took out a wreath – girl was forced to kiss him. Mostly, the couple spent the whole evening together. And because the celebration lasted all night, it is often these couples soon married.
Midsummer girls throwing wreaths into the water
The young people jumped over the fire is supposed to purify it. There was a lot to take associated with these jumps. For example, the couple who successfully jumped the flame is soon to be married and the marriage will be happy… If he jumped into the fire – expect problems and troubles…
And it’s not all fire shows our ancestors! The guys were down the mountain a wheel of fire. In some regions it never took, and whirled on the pole. I can only imagine what a show that was before, when no electricity, no Internet!
On this day the students carried out rituals with fire
Then the girls were carried to the forest branch of a fruit tree. There it was decorated and danced around. The boys found the girls, took a branch and then all the fun was shared. All of these games were built on the courtship, because the guys caught the girls were on hand, all hugging and kissing. Well, all this under the cover of night, without strict adult eyes.
And then, mostly in pairs, everyone was going to look for the mythical fern flower. He, like the philosopher’s stone was supposed to give wealth and eternal youth. But I suspect, for young people – it was just a chance to be alone.
By the way, celebrating not only young and unmarried. Adults stayed up all night and protect us from spirits. The herbs – it was believed that on Kupala they have healing properties. The action was carried out near the well.
Christian John The Baptist
With the mass adoption of Christianity the holiday transformed. First, the Church tried to deal with the celebration of Kupala. But most of pagan traditions remained. They are too colorful and was interesting! And where the truth to do with the Ukrainians and even the believers, but also pretty superstitious.
The Church celebrates the birth of John the Baptist July 7 (June 24 by the old calendar). Accordingly pagan celebration with the rituals underwent in the night of 6 to 7 July. According to Christian belief, John the Baptist baptized the first Christians in the waters of the Jordan.
Therefore, the name of a prominent Christian Ivan was connected with a pagan God, and we got the holiday of Ivan Kupala. Although some researchers believe that the share Ivan could be transported from the Roman Pantheon. Where was the deity Janus (from his own name the name of the month of June, which falls on the summer solstice). There are other versions, but we will not go. The Church, of course, does not recognize the pagan rituals and celebrations, and yet not as strictly as before, responds to these games. By the way, on this day, Christians in churches consecrated wreaths of herbs. Interesting “coincidence”, isn’t it?
That the Church is not overcame, it was consecrated
By the way, similar ceremonies were not only our ancestors. For example, Latvians have the feast of Midsummer, the Summer of the Celts, and Armenians celebrate Vardavar. Our neighbors, the poles, Russians and Belarusians, as well as the Serbs, Bulgarians, Austrians, Czechs and Germans celebrate ISIAH. Very pompously celebrating the Spaniards and the Brazilians, they even have a special festival named “Bonfires of San Juan” and “Festa Yunin,” respectively. All these celebrations are held during the longest days associated with sun and fire.
The idea of celebrating Midsummer-2017
And finally, as promised, some ideas for how to spend this wonderful holiday!
Bathed in Pirogovo
One of the biggest celebrations is happening in Ukraine at the Museum of architecture and life pirohovo. The Museum is located not far from Kiev, it is easily accessible by public transport and there is something to see even without a party.
On Midsummer there are action that plays the most interesting traditions. To all attract holiday guests. So you can learn to weave wreaths, to produce live fire, learn the secrets of divination, purification by fire and water and more. Or just be able to watch a theatrical performance.
Midsummer in Pirogovo everyone taking part in the action
Colorful costumes, performances, songs and dances will hardly leave anyone indifferent. Especially should come here with their children and foreign guests. You will be able to show them the real flavour!
Midsummer on Chipote
If you are a supporter of the official celebration and want a real bonfire night, forest and adventure we offer you to go to the oldest festival hippie spikes. The festival has clear of organizers, frames or programs of the celebration. On the mountain over the incredible beauty of the waterfall Shipot for decades attracts hippies and followers of other subcultures.
Night Sipote will remain in the memories for a lifetime
It Midsummer here make a tall fire, around him lead dances (often naked), drum, rest. The atmosphere of the festival is very relaxed, here peacefully coexist with people of radically different views.
Chipote reminisced about the cult Ukrainian writer lyubko Deresh in his book “Worshipping the lizard”. In his version at the festival was going to suicide. In practice, however, Hissing is a celebration of life and love.
Easy to get here from Volovets (a small town in Transcarpathia), and to Volovets without problems can be reached by train or by train. The most interesting to live in tents. If green rest is not yours, there are a lot of hotels and private houses of different classes and prices. There are plenty to choose! Around the nature reserve, the ancient forest, an icy mountain river… What else do you need to find a fern flower?
It is only two options for the celebration. In fact, a lot of them! Whatever you choose – we wish you a colorful holiday and unforgettable experience!