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Ukraine news: Midsummer falls on the summer solstice (23-24 June, old style), and the shortest night of the year – from 6 to 7 July in the new style.

Pagan God of fertility and summer sun Kupala never had a name and it was acquired after the coming of Christianity, when on this same day fell the feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist. So the Midsummer celebration is sometimes called Ivanov day or day of Ivan Herbalist.

The tradition of Midsummer

Midsummer day, as it is called in the old days, rich enough in tradition, rites and rituals. It should be noted that despite the specificity of the customs, many of them can be found today.

Special attention in this festival was dedicated to the forces of nature. So, the symbol of Midsummer, and the Sun was out. As claimed by the farmers is the period of the highest activity level of the Sun, after which it moved to the winter . After the adoption of Christianity by Rus, the sun became the symbol of John, and the holiday acquired its second name – Midsummer’s day.

From the early morning all the people were to be found on rivers and lakes. It was believed that it purifies the person as physically, driving away all diseases, and spiritually. Those who were not in the vicinity of the ponds, went to the bath. However, not all were in a hurry that day to swim. Because some of the people believed that bodies of water lies a huge amount of evil, which can destroy.

The fire also had a special magic to this day, so the whole village bonfires and jumped over him. Be sure the fire was built around ponds. They were believed to possess magical powers that can purify and give luck for the whole year. So there was a belief that a man, who jumps and touches the flame the whole year will be lucky and might be able to find the happiness. The tradition to jump over the fire preserved to our time, today you can also find the village, where at this day observe this tradition.

As the nature of this day had a special power and magic, many women tried to keep the magic part in case of illness or misfortune. So after bathing all went for the herbs. Some collected them for divination, others for the rites some in order to treat these herbs yourself and loved ones. Special emphasis was placed in this celebration of fern. It was believed that if you found the fern flower, it is a good sign, that person has a special kindness and with him we can find any treasure. The peculiarity of this plant was considered, is that it in this night blooms for a few seconds and then disappears, so it’s not so easy to find.

long before the celebration the whole village chose the so-called Sergeant, who was involved in the celebration. Its main task was to prepare for the holiday and spend it. Of course, he had to know all the traditions and customs. On this day, they sang songs, recited spells.

While the women collected grass, the men had to cut down a tree, whose height had to be approximately one and a half or two of growth of the average person. Then it is set where it is agreed to hold celebrations. When the tree is in place, the girls decorated it with flowers and ribbons. In people, this tree was called the “madder” or “Kupala”.

All the celebrations were just around the campfire. There is arranged a feast, played in the burner, young chose a couple and performed many rituals. With the advent of the Orthodox Church, these rites were condemned, as they are associated with paganism. However, the people could not abandon them and continued to follow them. Thus everything mixed folk beliefs with religion.

Also on this day it was customary to tell stories and novels, in which he described a special magic associated with plants. So, thanks to the plants, it was possible to find treasures, money, heal and so on. According to ancient legend, on the night of Midsummer, fern thrives and who will find this magic flower, he will be able to see the hidden underground treasures and learn to understand the language of animals.

Signs of Midsummer

Our ancestors, as in any other holiday closely followed on this day. if on Midsummer’s day it will rain, then the summer will be hot and the weather will be dry.

But if the night sky is generously dotted with stars, and in the morning nature bestow abundant dew, it will be a good harvest of cucumbers, mushrooms, and all vegetables.

On this day, tried to avoid contact with snakes, as if to see her this holiday, then trouble is inevitable and soon expected heavy losses.

After collecting herbs women all carefully counted them. if there are twelve species of plants, the family is sure in coming year to be married.

Many believed that the special danger of horses, which the impure force can use for their purposes. In this case, they can not get out alive. So they tried to lock securely.