Interesting traditions and signs on the holiday of Ivan Kupala

Surely almost everyone has heard about the holiday of Ivan Kupala and the various traditions of its celebration. But how did it come about, what are all these amazing rituals connected with? Let's find out!

What holiday is it?

Day Ivan Kupala is a Slavic national holiday, which is dedicated to the flowering of nature, as well as the summer solstice.

How did it come about?

The history of the holiday goes back to pagan times. Initially, he was dedicated to one of the Slavic pagan gods - Kupala. According to the legend, he was a handsome young man separated from his sister as a child. Years later, Kupala met her and, knowing nothing about the relationship, he married. When the brother and sister found out the truth, they could not endure the grief and drowned. This is connected with the celebration of water, as well as some love overtones.

The Christians later decided to coincide with the day of Ivan Kupala for the Christmas of John the Baptist, which fell on June 24. And in this regard, the original meaning was partially lost, but still some beliefs have survived and are of interest to this day.


What date is celebrated Ivan Kupala holiday? There is some confusion in the dates associated with the transition to the Gregorian calendar. Thus, earlier in the Orthodox world, the celebration took place on the day of the summer solstice and began on the night of June 24th.

And it was on this date that the Nativity of John the Baptist fell. But in connection with the transition to a different calendar, the celebration moved and is celebrated on the night of July 7 in the Orthodox world. In 2017, the Kupala night will also fall on this date. Catholics, however, who adhere to the previously used Julian calendar, celebrate the day Ivanov is still from 23 to 24 June.

Mystical beliefs

Initially, in the celebration of the day of Ivan Kupala, a certain mystic was present. It was believed that during this period witches and creatures from the other world gained special strength. Nature seemed to come alive and animated: the trees moved and even talked, and the sun at the zenith seemed to bathe in the water. But more than others, two elements were revered: water and fire. It was on this amazing day that they merged and acquired incredible power that could help change life, atone for sins and look a little where the entrance to ordinary mortals is closed.

What is customary to do on this day?

On the feast of Ivan Kupala, the following rituals can be performed:

  1. The main rite is bathing. And it is connected with several beliefs. Firstly, water on such a day was endowed with amazing properties, believing people believed that it was capable of purifying the soul and body, delivering from bad thoughts and washing away all sins and bad deeds. Secondly, many believed that it was on the day of Ivan Kupala that all the reservoirs left evil: water, mermaids, and so on. That is, you can swim white without fear and fear, without fear of being dragged away by some creature into the abyss. And it was necessary to wash it at night until dawn. And in the early morning before sunrise everyone hurried to wash themselves with dew, which also possessed mystical power. Also, water and dew were used to clean the huts to clean their homes.
  2. An important role in the celebration was played by fire, and many different rituals are associated with it. So, during the celebration on the banks of the reservoirs, bonfires were bred. Jumping through them, you could burn all the bad and cleanse the soul. But after such amusements, it was necessary to take a dip in the nearest reservoir, so that the forces of the elements would unite. Mothers threw children’s clothes into the fires, in which they had been ill, so that the diseases would never again pester the children.
  3. Particular attention was paid to grasses, because nature on the feast of Ivan Kupala revived, which means that all plants acquired mystical properties and could get rid of any ailments. They were collected at night or just before dawn, and they were harvested for future use in order to be able to experience their miraculous power throughout the year. After collecting some, they went to churches and consecrated plants that had been torn in the fields. Further, they were used to prepare various decoctions and infusions. In dried form, sticks were stuck in orchards and gardens, near the doors of houses to protect themselves from evil spirits. Also built brooms for bath procedures. Almost all plants that possessed medicinal properties were collected, but especially chertogon, verba, tullich, St. John's wort, lyubovok, wormwood, string, petrov cross, zyablitsa, thyme. And from some herbs and flowers wreaths were wound, which the girls put on their heads and gave each other.
  4. From the hay young men and girls built a kind of doll, which was a symbol of Kupala. It was erected in the center of the territory where the celebration was held. Then everyone started to dance, but one of the dancers had to hit the structure so that it fell.Then the girls began to mourn the dead Kupala and sing songs, but at that time the young men carried the doll to the fire and solemnly burned it, seeing them off to the end.

Is it possible to find out your future on this day?

It was believed that on the day of Ivan Kupala, one can not only be cleansed from sins, but also know one’s future or even influence it. And various divinations and signs helped in this:

  • If you jump over the Kupala bonfire three times (certainly successfully, without hitting the flame), then next year will surely be successful, prosperous and healthy. If, however, the bouncing foot pierced the foot and destroyed it, then difficulties await him in personal or family life. And if you stumble during a jump, then you can expect a serious illness ahead.
  • To someone who in the night of Ivan Kupala will find a flower of a fern, will be lucky. He will get good luck in everything and good health. And it was believed that such a plant helps develop super abilities, for example, the ability to predict the future or read minds.
  • The weather on this momentous day can tell you what to expect from nature in the near future. So, if it rains, the remaining summer will be warm and even dry.If the night was clear and stellar, and before dawn the dew fell abundantly, this indicated that the precipitation would be sufficient to collect a good harvest.
  • Each girl let out a wreath on the river. And from the side to which he will float, the betrothed will come or will come in the near future.
  • The broom left after the bath procedures, having left the bath, had to be thrown over his shoulder, so that he would indicate the side from which to wait for the second half.
  • If you meet a snake on such a day, it will be an extremely bad sign, promising failure or loss.
  • Putting a wreath on the pond, you need to watch him. If he drowns immediately, the wedding is not expected in the near future. If he swam, then soon the girl will meet her betrothed.
  • After collecting herbs, you can count them. If you type twelve different species, then in the near future you will have good luck, and the year will be fertile and healthy.
  • Standing in front of the fire, everyone made a wish. If the fire continued to burn evenly and brightly, then the plan will come true. If the flame is interrupted, the desire will not be fulfilled.
  • In a crack in the wall, place two blades of grass. After some time, take a close look at them: if they are woven, then soon you will find love. If they are apart, then personal happiness while you should not wait.
  • To find out the lifespan, you can use a hallowed candle. Light it and watch the burning process. If the candle burns to the end, leaving a small cinder, then you will live a long time. If the flame quickly goes out, then the disease is waiting for you, or life will not be long.

Some traditions of celebrating Ivan Kupala are very interesting. Take them into service and be sure to keep the celebration to fame.

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