Kupala-Night

Kupala Night is celebrated in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Russia currently on the night of 6/7 July. The celebration relates to the summer solstice when nights are the shortest and includes a number of Pagan rituals.

The holiday was originally Kupala - a pagan fertility rite later accepted into the Orthodox Christian calendar. Due to the popularity of the pagan celebration with time it was simply accepted and reestablished as one of the native Christian traditions intertwined with local folklore.

On Kupala day, youth jump over the flames of bonfires in a ritual testing of one’s bravery and faith.

And here we have illustration which shows two slavic elements -

Utopiec (Aquarius) - spirit of human soul that died drowning, residing in the element of their own demise, 

and tradition of Kupala Night. Girls are floating wreaths of flowers (often lit with candles) on rivers, and would 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.

watercolors, ecolines and watercolour pencils

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Traditional wreaths for Noc Świętojańska (Kupala Night) in Poland.

Wreaths were a symbol of virginity, worn only by the unmarried women. On the event of 23rd of June, the shortest night of the year, girls were woving wreaths from the flowers and herbs. The wreath was often attached to a small board or two crossed planks and a small candle would be attached at the centre, then launched down a river, stream or let it float on a lake waters. Some girls would launch two wreaths at once to observe how they float - if they set off quickly, following the river current and keeping close to each other, mutual love and marriage were indicated. The most desired sign was when a girl’s wreath was picked up by the very boy she cherished in her heart and some boys would jump into the water to capture the desired wreath. It was once believed that the night is a time of people to fall in love with each other.

Sources: [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10]