A young Polish woman preparing a wreath on Noc Kupały the Slavic Midsummer Eve. In ancient times it was a festival celebrating the Slavic goddess of sex, herbs, sorcery, and the midsummer; Kuapala. This night is also known as Ivan Kuapala in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. It was syncretized with the Christian festival of the Eve of St. John the Baptist, but still retains much of it’s pagan Slavic heritage.
On this night young maidens dressed in white, with wreaths of wildflowers on their heads set afloat candled wreaths on the rivers, in hopes that their future husband would find the wreath when fishing and fall in love with them. The rite is known as Rzucanie Wianków (throwing of wreaths). In Poland and other Slavic countries, the wianek or wreath is a symbol of maidenhood.
Other celebrations that take part in the night are jumping over bonfires, ritual bathing in lakes and rivers at sunset, and singing and dancing until midnight.
This night is considered to be the Slavic version of Valentine’s Day.

A young Polish woman preparing a wreath on Noc Kupały the Slavic Midsummer Eve. In ancient times it was a festival celebrating the Slavic goddess of sex, herbs, sorcery, and the midsummer; Kuapala. This night is also known as Ivan Kuapala in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. It was syncretized with the Christian festival of the Eve of St. John the Baptist, but still retains much of it’s pagan Slavic heritage.

On this night young maidens dressed in white, with wreaths of wildflowers on their heads set afloat candled wreaths on the rivers, in hopes that their future husband would find the wreath when fishing and fall in love with them. The rite is known as Rzucanie Wianków (throwing of wreaths). In Poland and other Slavic countries, the wianek or wreath is a symbol of maidenhood.

Other celebrations that take part in the night are jumping over bonfires, ritual bathing in lakes and rivers at sunset, and singing and dancing until midnight.

This night is considered to be the Slavic version of Valentine’s Day.

82 notes
Posted on Thursday, 6 September
Tagged as: Noc Kupały culture cultural poland polish slavic slav slavs Eastern European Eastern Europe festival midsummer summer solstice Ivan Kupala Kupala Kupała Pagan St. John the Baptist Midsummer Night Eve
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