Sunday, 7 July 2013

Ivan Kupala (Иван Купала) - Kupala Night

Sometimes when you live far from your country and hence far from all its traditions you tend to forget some of them, you skip special dates and don't celebrate. Today however I am lucky to have friends all over the world and those who share same Slavic roots as me. I opened my blogger today to find a post by Ljubinka from Serbia reminding me that today is one of the biggest summer holidays which has Eastern Slavic Pagan roots and is called Kupala Night or Ivan Kupala (in Russian). Ljubinka created wonderful crochet flowers for this occasion, do check out her blog. Kupala day is celebrated from 6th to 7th of July.
The meaning of this holiday is connected to the role of water in fertility and ritual purification. I recollected some of the rites to be done this day. One of them is a weaving of the wreath from the flowers. Such flowers as dandelions, poppies, bluett, and others. But I don't have them around so what do I do? A thought flashed through my mind - use plants you have in your garden! That was what I exactly did - Indian curry patta, and some other green plant with beautiful leaves became my Kupala wreath. 
While I was taking this picture, a girl neighbour was watching me, as I saw when I lifted my head up. I waved her and smiled... It was too long to explain what it all meant :)
So today is good to bathe in the river, lake, or any open water source. If such is not available, take a simple shower. Also traditionally ancient Slavic people used to make a big bonfire somewhere in an open field and jump over it, what was the rite of purification as well. Bonfires might be not in my to do list today, but bathing is definitely is!
Have a joyful Sunday, my dears! Sending you Kupala blessings!

47 comments:

  1. Beautiful green wreath!!
    Good luck!:)

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    1. I didn't have flowers, I wish it was more colorful :) Thanks, Ljubinka!

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  2. Jumping over a bonfire is not for me either. Don't think I will join our beagle in our pond, since that is not too clean. But a shower is good! Think I will do that later. Beautiful wreath, by the way.

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    1. Yea, it is a bit risky, but may be a small bonfire is fine? ;)
      Good to know! Thanks, Linda!

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  3. Kupala blessings to you! I haven't heard of this festival before but it sounds good to me -- perfect for the hot month of July, in fact!

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    1. :) It is a nice summer festival, Debra, you shall celebrate next year!

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  4. Good to know that you try to perform both Russian and Indian rituals with whatever resources you have!! :) very nice !!

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    1. I need to... I miss my own country so much, and sometimes I feel like I am really really cut off from my culture. Thanks, Preeti!

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    1. I know your son has undergone a surgery, but he will be all right, I am sure.

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  6. I love the wreath! That's so cool! I took a shower this morning, as I do each day! :) And I was just standing out in the rain too come to think of it. :)

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    1. So you've got a huge amount of purification, Jojo! :) isn't it feeling nice? we had the rain today too.

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  7. Lovely tradition! I'm glad you've found a way to celebrate the holiday far from home. :)

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    1. Yes, I am also glad, and I hope I can do it more! I missed so many such festivals already :(

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  8. Hi Anna,
    Lovely wreath and happy kupala :) It's cool to see traditions wander around the globe and being adapted
    have a wonderful day, Diana

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    1. Hi, Diana! Do you also have similar festival in Germany?How nice it is!
      Have an awesome week ahead!

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  9. An interesting tradition it is! Following traditions makes you get inner peace and you feel good :)

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    1. Precisely, Garima! It feels good as you connect toy our roots through traditions.

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  10. Thank you for your visit:))
    Have a wonderful day,Karina

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    1. Thanks for your visit too, Karina!

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  11. Wow the wreath reminded me of the ancient Olympic wreath which was placed on the heads of the champions!

    Good your friend reminded you the Kupala tradition

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    1. This is what my MIL said when she saw :) Okay, that one was made from bay leaves which are used in cooking too. hehe

      Yes I was so excited to weave the wreath on that special day!

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  12. The curry pata must have made for a very fragrant wreath..ooh how I love its smell! Happy festivities :)

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    1. It was fragrant! and this fragrance is very unique.
      Thanks, Medha!

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  13. What a beautiful tradition ;o) Thanks for sharing ;o) Big Hugs ;o)

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    1. it is beautiful and was happy to follow it. Hugs to you too!

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  14. Fascinating, and such parallels with the things we do here in the UK on the shortest night ... plaiting wreaths for our hair, jumping over bonfires ... not that many keep those traditions alive in the UK these days, which is a pity I think.

    Great post :)

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    1. Such traditions are connected to nature, to our roots, to what we are. It felt good to try it far from home... I was happy :)
      Thanks for your kind comment!

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  15. The most beautiful part of traditions is to take them with us where we go and share them with the local Nature. What a wonderful way to keep all customs alive. I love, love, love the wreath. So sweet of your friend to remind you and so very practical of you to honor the holiday with what you had in hand ;-)

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    1. Right, Magaly. Sometimes I forget to celebrate such festivals, but when I do finally make effort to stick to my origin, I get loads of satisfaction from this.
      By the way, I didn't tear away the branches, but took them from those which were removed as excessive greenery, which was already dominating over other plants.Balancing.

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  16. Oooh! This is fascinating! The nearest festival we have like this in the Summer in the UK is Well Dressing, where images are made is flowers and taken to a natural well and blessed.

    Thank you for telling us about it and that garland is really pretty.

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  17. What a lovely tradition! I bet making this brought you closer to your homeland. Thanks for teaching us about it. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  18. wow..that's brilliant Anna...beautiful use of karipatha...and you did it beautifully...i have seen mango leaf garlands for Indian tradition festival...

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    1. Thanks, Nima! I made it very quickly, and wore it and was happy :)

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  19. So interesting to learn of the tradition of others. And good that you used what you had on hand to make your wreath. It certainly gets harder to carry on traditions the longer you are away. Today is the first day of Ramadan -- I am not Muslim, but my husband is, so this begins his month of fasting. Very difficult during these long, hot summer days. Wishing you all the best, Tammy

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  20. That seems like a lovely tradition! The garland looks very pretty ^^

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    1. Yes, it is, Lesthi :) I love this tradition a lot!

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  21. Interesting tradition. The wreath is beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Pradeepa! I tried to make it beautiful, I am glad I succeeded.

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  22. Beautiful blog!! I follow you!! Would you follow me back? My blog is: http://fanypap.blogspot.gr/ Kisses.

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  23. It is interesting that desire for purification deeper than skin has been in all people.In the depth of our heart we know that defilment is not our portion. Nice wreath,Anna.

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  24. Traditions bring us back to our roots. Your wreath head piece is lovely Hindustanka! I hope you enjoyed the day. Blessings to you.

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  25. Wow, that is a cool looking wreath! How fun, I am so sad at how the fourth of july has turned out in the usa, nothing but crazy fireworks going off scaring animals and all kinds of firework parts ending up in our pool, the noise is unbelieveable! and it goes on for days before and after..UGH I dread the holiday now days...I would love a nice peaceful tradition like a bath and flower crown!

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  26. Mmm bathing...sounds good in this hot weather :) xx

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  27. Interesting post. thanks for sharing xx

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  28. Belated Happy Kupala :-). I love these old pagan rites!! And what a beautiful green wreath! I hope you had a great day.

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  29. Thank you for the share. I loved the hearing about the old Slavic ritual. I use to love making wreaths for my head when I was younger. You did a great job.

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