пятница, 6 июля 2012 г.

Canada Day and Kupala Night (John the Baptist/ Иван Купалa)

On Canada Day long weekend Dasha and I went camping to White Falls, Ontario (approximately 150 km (90 miles) north of Toronto). Hot summer days,  nice grilled food, some beer. We even saw the fireworks in the evening. This relaxed and joyful  atmosphere made us simultaneously remember that back in Russia every year at the beginning of July we were celebrating Ivana Kupala, grandiose midsummer festival.

A little bit of history (which is taken from Wikipedia obviously): 

Ivana Kupala is a summer folk festival of pagan origin, known as the eastern and western Slavs. Initially, before the spread of Christianity, the holiday has been associated with the summer solstice (June 20-21). C adoption of Christianity, the ritual of the festival was dedicated to the birthday of John the Baptist - 24th June. With this is connected to the national title in different countries. The new style is born after John the Baptist falls on July 7, as the Russian Orthodox Church lives by the old style.

On Kupala night, girls would float wreaths of flowers on rivers and attempt to gain foresight into their relationship fortunes from the flow patterns of the flowers on the river. Men may attempt to capture the wreaths, in the hope of capturing the interest of the woman who floated the wreath.

There is an ancient belief, that the eve of Ivan Kupala is the only time of the year when ferns bloom. Prosperity, luck, discernment and power would befall on whoever finds a fern flower. Therefore, on that night village folks would roam through the forests in search of magical herbs and especially the elusive fern flower.

White Falls, ON, Canada

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