Also this holiday is known as midsummer. Since the days of pagan Russia, this popular pagan holiday celebrated throughout the Ancient Rus (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine), as well as in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Ivan Kupala is on the night of the summer solstice, the shortest night of the year – June 24. Of particular importance is Midsummer in Latvia. In Latvia, this festival is very popular now.
This pagan holiday even more popular than Christmas. Here at holiday its name – 'Midsummer Day' or 'Midsummer'. "Midsummer Day" – a public holiday – June 23-24, the whole country on weekends. 'Midsummer Day' residents as well as a few centuries ago, is celebrated in the countryside – all night until morning. Its title celebration obtained by combining pre-Christian Slavic festival dedicated to the god Kupala (Kupala, or swimming – Slavic god of fertility) and the day of John the Baptist (John = John).
In Russia, people believed that on the night of Ivan Kupala inhabitants abound took on the maximum power, and his black undertaken a riotous feast. It was believed that on this night, an evil spirit could enslave the mind and take his sleeping body. On this night, it was impossible to find a sleeper – Organization of holidays affect the entire village! But even sober, and many wore amulets with them – loyal defenders of evil spirits. Just the night of Ivana Kupala categorically forbidden to enter the rivers and streams as well as receiving maximum force, Water struggled to drown anyone who dared disturb his water kingdom. In a festive night big fires were burning everywhere, around which the dance is walked, and the most courageous young men and women jump through them. It was believed that the hopping over the fire above all, the whole buduyuschy year will be luckier than others. However, the main force of fire that night was purged from the disease, and spells. Very sick peasants burned their clothes, as with it should have been burned and disease. Sometimes the peasants chased their animals through the fires of thinking that the fire defender of animals against plague. Boys and girls love to play the 'burner', which 'deals with love' guys caught playing girls. On the other hand, in the daytime, light forces also took on his power. People believed that on this day gets huge natural healing properties: water washes damage, charged the sun divine power, herbs healed wounds. Particularly medicinal herbs were considered, which were collected in the early morning, as they soaked Midsummer dew. They are used for omens, they struggled with wickedness, fumigated patients to banish illness. These herbs are just throwing fire during a thunderstorm to take a lightning strike from his home. Utmost importance on the night of Ivan Kupala's got a fern. People believed that only once a year, on this night, he bloomed, and only a few seconds. With this flower in his hand could be seen any treasure, no matter how deep he was buried. Ivan Kupala is revered in Russia – to celebrate the whole country and every village residents across the country participated in the rites and traditions of this holiday.