Midsummer is a traditional holiday, which is celebrated in Ukraine on the night of July 7, on the night of 23 to 24 June in the old style. Historically, this day was the day of the summer solstice (the solstice - June 20-22), later coincided with the birth of John the Baptist and the Christian feast of the Nativity of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner.
John - son of the priest Zacharias and Elizabeth - cousin of the Virgin Mary, was born six months before Christ. An angel preached about his coming into the world too. Complete asceticism and worship of God, the life of John aroused great respect for him Judeans among whom he preached. Those that have repented of their sins, John baptized with water, preparing people for baptism spiritual messiah. Along with all the shore of the Jordan and came to Christ, whom John baptized in water. Continuing his service to God, John fearlessly exposing sin and deception, not only among the common people, but also among those of kings, for which King Herod threw him into prison. Salome, the daughter of Herodias at whose instigation bequiled Herod by her seductive dancing into giving her the head of John the Baptist. And she got it on a platter ... Thus ended the life of the Prophet was martyred.
In the Ukrainian folk tradition, the birthday of John (Ivan Kupala, Ivan Herbalist) - a poetic pagan holiday celebrations of sunlight and heat. In ancient written sources Kupalo characterized as a pagan god of fruits of the earth, who sacrificed bread - the main fruit of the land.
As a national holiday, Midsummer Day comes with many peculiar rites and songs.
Ukraine has long been boys and girls leave the village with joyful singing, laid fires on the mountain, or somewhere in the woods near the river, they dance around that fire and jump over the fire. Girls still sing songs and fortunetelling various signs notice it will come true if their heart desires. In the morning before the sun wash "Ivanovo" dew on beauty. In the Carpathians, girls gird perevyaslom of herbs, grasses of the same weave wreaths and put it on his head.
The main attributes of the holiday are bathed and Marena, in different areas of Ukraine are prepared in different ways. So, in Podolia and Volhynia girls do "Kupala" from willow twigs, and for this they take a branch, decorate it with flowers and wreaths, and then go around this "Midsummer" and sing songs. Men and women also agree on this show, but the singing they did not participate.
Guys throw flowers on those trails, where the girls go.
After a while, when the girls "Kupala" Narada, guys attack "Kupala", it fails with wreaths and flowers, and the very branch thrown into the water. Lay a fire and when it flares up, jump over the fire all present: boys, girls, women and men.
Young women bring with them the dumplings or other refreshments, and men and boys - vodka, right there by the fire, help themselves, and then they start to dance.
In Poltava in the evening, on the eve of Ivan Kupala, the girls are going to the conditional place with wreaths on their heads. Wreaths weave daisies, lovage, stars, God's tree, hatchets, periwinkle, basil, mint, rue, mignonette and other odorous herbs. Caps and hats decorated with these guys, too, the same colors, but the colors are not adorn themselves, and the girls they love.
Having met the girls hold hands and walk around the "madder" - branches chernoklena or cherries, sing. Rehash of the song, the girls stopped. One of them takes a straw man dressed in women's shirt, and put under a tree next to a branch - "Marin", the other girls are decorated with ribbons stuffed head and around his neck hung a necklace - a "Kupala". It also happens that put stuffed with wooden arms, which cling braided wreaths. This "Midsummer" draped a bunch of straw with nettle and light. When fire breaks out, the guys hold hands and jump over the fire, and the other at the time they sing.
In the Kiev region jump over the midsummer fire couples. Before you jump, the guy takes a girl's head and lays a wreath on his head, and the girl wears a crown. So exchanged, they hold hands and jump. Jumping, the couple goes around the "Midsummer" and is behind other players, exchanged garlands ago. If the couple is not jumping at odds, it is a sign that she will marry.
After jumping girls have "Morena" to the water, where she drowned. After that, the girls themselves are swimming while singing. Purified by fire and water, they begin to wonder: take their wreaths attached to them candles and float on water. While wreaths float, the girls go over the pond and sing:
In the green grove nightingale chirps nightingale chirps;
There, she has taken wreath from the periwinkle, from the periwinkle,
Swim, swim, wreath from the periwinkle, for my sweetheart, for my darling ...
According to popular belief, if a wreath floats well and the candle burns well, then she will get married, if it is spinning in place, it will still go on the shelf, and if the sink - will not marry at all. If a wreath swam away and stuck to some shore, the girl gets married away from home. These wreaths are endowed with magical healing power, so the girls on the second day after they fill their head on the roof of the house or stored in the attic, in the belief that the potion from which woven wreath, cure for all diseases.
According to popular belief, medicinal plants only have a real healing power, when they collected the night before or the morning of Midsummer with nutritious "Ivanovo" dew. Therefore, wash Ukrainian girls at the beauty of the dew.
According to current perceptions in Ukraine to believe, on the night of Midsummer trees move from place to place and the noise of branches talk to each other. Anyone who owns a color fern, can see it and understand their language, and the language of every being, and see where the hidden treasures. In order to be all-knowing and all-seeing, you need to defeat evil forces and to take the fern flower that blooms very brief moment and only Kupala night. Seeing the forest in advance bush fern, the night before the festival to go to him and spread out the tablecloth on which the consecrated cakes for Easter. Then draw a consecrated knife around and round the bush, fern sprinkled with holy water and start praying. As soon as it gets dark, the devil in many ways trying to scare people: shooting, throwing stones and branches, shouting furious voice, etc. But do not be afraid of it, to be a circumscribed circle with a knife around the fern. In the 12th hour of the night, according to legend, the fern blossoms and shiny as coal, flower, immediately falls to spread out the tablecloth. Color to quickly pick up and hide inside his jacket. When the owner of a flower to return home with booty, he shall in no case should look back. Hell with his many helpers will continue to fight for the fern color to the threshold of the house daredevil: contact him votes relatives crying begging for help, so he turned around for a moment. If a person does not break down and do it, he immediately dropped dead.
We all know that the fern is a relict grassy plant never blooms because propagated vegetatively, ie spores. But since ancient times, people noticed that each plant has its own flower, its seed, which continues to exist, that is, has fruit breeding emphasizes feminine essence. In fern flower is not, so this plant symbolizes masculine nature. No wonder that the fern plants belonged to a totem of Perun - god of soldiers-men. As a symbol of Perun was a burning fire, "fire flower", or, as they say, "Perun color", and in ritual fern was always used with a lamp, you can assume that the "Fire Flower" was the "flower" of ferns. This mythical color was a symbol of the sun and lightning, blooms and goes so clearly and so quickly, like a spark, and has great power and works wonders in nature.
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