Ivan Kupala – a holiday full of mystical rituals and beliefs
The holiday of Ivan Kupala is one of the most famous Slavic holidays. Despite the fact that Ivanov's day coincides with the Nativity of John the Baptist, these festivals have different roots. The Nativity of Ivan the Baptist is an Orthodox holiday, while Ivanov's day, like Maslenitsa, came to us from the Gentile ancestors. With the arrival of the Orthodox Church, all pagan rites were severely condemned. But the people still continue to follow them, mixing together religion and popular beliefs.
What number celebrate the day of Ivan Kupala?
According to the old style Ivan Kupala was celebrated on June 24, in our days the holiday falls on July 7th. Or rather, the night of 6 to 7 July. Some European countries celebrate Ivanov in the old style, during the summer solstice.
Ivan Kupala or Kupaila since ancient times is considered a Slavic holiday of the maturity of summer and green mowing. The symbol of the holiday was the Sun. Our ancestors said that on the day of the summer solstice, the power of the Sun reaches its maximum, after which it goes to decline.
Ivan Kupala – the customs and traditions of the holiday
Ivanov's Day is one of the brightest Slavic holidays, which is identified with unusual traditions and interesting rituals and rituals. Even in 2016, people are happy to revive the traditions of their ancestors.
The celebration of Ivan's Day begins in the early morning of July 6, according to a new style. In the morning dawn you need to wash with cool dew or bathe in the river. Water on this day cleanses the soul and prolongs the youth of the body.
The decoration of the tree on Midsummer's day
Then you can go to the collection of medicinal herbs. On Ivan Kupala herbs enhance their healing properties. Guys go into the woods and cut down a tall tree (a blackblood, a birch or a willow) and install it in place of folk festivals, and the girls decorate the tree with flowers and colored ribbons. Such a tree is called "madder" or "bathing". Under the tree, a large doll is placed from straw or clay, which symbolizes Yarila. Yarila is not the sun-god, as some consider, but the personification of the summer festival in man.
The image of Yarila is often found in various literary works, for example:
There is a good god, Jarilo-boy,
And the snow shroud tears all over Russia wide!
There is a mighty god, the enemy of death is dull,
It's true, life is king and lord of hearts,
From the poppy red scarlet is his crown,
In the hands of the green rye, a sheaf is trembling,
Eyes burn like heat, flush cheeks,
There is a cheerful god, flowers and a reaping father!
Around the decorated tree, girls dance and sing, and the guys make "raids" on them, trying to steal the treasured tree. The guy who managed to get the tree, runs to the river and throws it into the water. The rest run up to the water. Here begins a walk.
Jumping through the fire on Ivan Kupala
Everything is filled with magic on this holiday. Even the fire, if through it to jump, gives happiness and good luck for the whole year. In the fires burn the clothes of sick children, so that the disease burned with the fire. At a fire arrange magnificent festivities with game in burners, set of ceremonies and a smart feast. The bonfire drives away all evil spirits, especially witches.
According to legend, Bathing in the night witches were gaining strength and did a lot of harm to people, livestock, and crops in the fields. From the water to the surface, crawled all evil. People in the night on Midsummer day protect themselves from evil spirits with nettles, which were spread out on the thresholds and window sills.
In addition to the fires in Ivanov, the day the wheels and tar drums are ignited, which are then rolled off the mountains or worn on poles. The wheel is a symbol of the Sun of the pagan Slavs.
Divination in the holiday of Ivan Kupala: blowing wreaths
In the Kupala night, the girls liked to guess at the water. The most famous divination by Ivan Kupala is the launching of wreaths in the water. The wreath needed was special - from 12 kinds of flowers and herbs. It was necessary to weave on a special technology, which includes 12 species of plants. If a wreath drowned in water drowned - this year the girl will not marry. If the wreath did not even set off from the shore, it was cut off somewhere very close. And if the wreath sailed away from the shore, then love will come from afar.
Girls arranged and contests their fortune-telling wreaths. Here is the verse-presentation for the wreath contest:
Here is a magic wreath
Blue color-takes care of troubles,
Joy bears a yellow color.
A red flower is a nice little friend.
And daisies like brides
They took a seat in a wreath.
Sheet - oak is a force,
Everyone needs it.
Here and the fern is
He will save your honor
Our bell is ringing
The heart is burning with joy.
There is in our wreath our kashka
So that the bowl is fuller.
And birch branches
Bring the health of children.
Our wonderful wreath
Let it save you from troubles
We twisted it into Kupala
There are a lot of magic herbs in it.
There were other fortune-telling on Ivanov's Day. For example, it was believed that if the flower of the rich is put under the pillow and it will be released in a couple of hours - soon the girl will meet her sucheno! If the flower wilts - this year the girl does not see a marriage.
Legends and beliefs on Midsummer day: a blooming fern and Ivan-da-Marya
Who does not know the legend of the flowering fern? There was a belief that if you find a fern in bloom, it will bring happiness, fulfillment of desires and even untold riches. It was believed that it was on Ivan Kupala that the flower of the fern dissolves only for a few minutes, and then disappears.
Another plant closely associated with the day of Ivan Kupala is Ivan-da-marya, which symbolized the magic union of fire and water. According to popular beliefs, the origin of this flower is associated with twins - brother and sister - who entered into forbidden love relationships and because of this turned into a flower. The flower of ivan-da-marya often appears in the Kupala songs:
Calling on the pool.
Where Ivan bathed -
Where Mary swam -
The Ivan-Kupala plants that had been torn up by Ivan-da-marya had to be spread out across the corners of the hut to protect themselves from thieves. It was believed that thieves would hear the voices of their sisters and brothers, so they would not get into the hut.