Ivan Kupala Day Date in the current year: July 7, 2016

Ivan Kupala Day Ivan Kupala Day is celebrated in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus on June 7. It is an East Slavic equivalent of Saint John's Day and Midsummer celebrations in the rest of the world.

The Eastern Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar used in Western Christianity. That is why the Orthodox feast of Saint John the Baptist falls on July 7, which is June 24 in the Julian calendar.

Ivan Kupala Day is an ancient Slavic holiday that combines pagan fertility rites with St. John's Day celebration. This combination is reflected in the holiday's name. The word “Ivan” is a Slavic variant of the name “John”, while “Kupala” is a deity in the Slavic mythology that embodies the summer solstice.

On Kupala day, young people lit bonfires and jumped over the flames. Girls picked flowers, made wreaths and floated them on rivers, attempting to see the image of their promised husband in the water within the wreath.

In ancient times, people believed that the eve of Ivan Kupala was the only time of the year when ferns bloom. Reckless young people went into the woods in search of the fern flower which gives its owner supernatural abilities.

Ivan Kupala Day celebrations have declined over the years, but neopagans show a revived interest in this ancient holiday.

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Folk Festivals


Belarus, Russia, Ukraine


Ivan Kupala Day, folk holiday, feast of Saint John the Baptist, Midsummer, pagan holiday