Kupala night is an ancient celebration of the Eastern Slavs dedicated to the summer solstice. From year to year it comes on July 6 and ends on July 7 according to the Georgian calender.
Ivana Kupala Day (official name of the holiday) combines the words Ivan, the Slavic name of John the Baptist, and Kupala, derived from the Slavic word for bathing. However, is also said the name of the day is associated with Kupajla or Kupalo, a harvest god.
Most of the traditions for Kupala Night trace back to the pagan past. For instance, one of the most widely adhered to is that all the possible evil spirits like witches, snakes, water, mermaids, and werewolves awaken at this time. Therefore, you shouldn’t sleep on Kupala Night. It is customary to go to a pond, a river or a lake and celebrate the holiday there. However, you cannot swim, as bad spirits can make you drown.
People believed that all plants had special magical powers on this day. That is why, young girls were collecting the healing plants, and they were singing at the same time. Bunches of grass, gathered on the holiday, hung in the house and acted as a charm for the whole family.
On Kupala Night, primarily young women guessed about their fiancé and future family. The popular divination is to weave a wreath of wildflowers while making a wish, and then to let it go on the river. If the wreath floats far away, the wish will come true, and if it is beaten to the shore or sinks, then you should forget about your dream for a while.
Another ritual implies jumping over the flames of a bonfire - to get rid of evil spirits and test braveness and faith. The failure of a couple in love to complete the jump, while holding hands, is a sign of their destined separation.
We, the team of Ukraine-Rus', find it fun and useful to support some old customs connected with national and folk holidays since it reminds us and our kids of our roots and traditions, helps us get closer to nature and surrounding world, and is yet another occasion to get together)))