"The ancient Rus origins of Kupala's Eve revolved around fertility and self purification, the idea being to clean one's body, mind and spirit in order to gain an elevated Naturist consciousness."
|The evening of Ivana-Kupala celebrates the Summer
Solstice, the shortest night of the year. Like Halloween and
Easter in the United States it is a celebration that is deeply rooted in
pagan history. The ancient Rus origins of this festivity
revolved around fertility and self purification, the idea being clean
one's body, mind and spirit in order to gain an elevated consciousness.
According to Rus myth, Solntzevorot-day (summer solstice) was the day when Perun (god of the sun as well as thunder and lightning) had been forced to descend from his regular path across the sky. Whether he was driven down by his own enemies or by exhaustion is not clear. He was discovered, nurtured and resurrected by the clear-eyed girl Zarya (daybreak) who bathed him in the early-morning dew she gathered from the fields of fragrant grass. Reinvigorated, Perun found the strength to reascend the heavens. Thus, in the early morning when the dew is on the grass people use it to bathe; they will also float in the river believing that water on this day has a special cleansing force.
Solntzevorot-day is also the traditional
time when Nature blesses the farmers, revealing to them all her natural
treasures. Kupala, the
ancient image of the fertile summer land, is traditionally honored with
bonfires. In olden days these fires lit up the field, river banks and
hills. A Kupala bonfire was
termed “living fire” and symbolized Perun’s power over the
fertility of the land and fruiting of the trees.
It was commonly believed that by jumping through a Kupala bonfire
a person became cleansed prior to the beginning of harvest, and this
made him or her healthier and more powerful.
The pagan roots of the celebration promoted
fertility, and echoes of this resonate today in an event known for its
often ribald ebulliance. The
Eve of Ivana-Kupala was a “Night of Love” when married
couples were released from the usual strictures governing daily life.
On this night it was accepted if a husband chose another woman or
girl from among his wife’s friends or family.
Similarly, it was acceptable should a wife select a male partner
from her husband’s friends and family.
Holy Nature Manifesto Introduction
A Day in the Russian Countryside A Naturist Wedding and Feast Children's Day Celebration
The Eve of Ivana Kupala Interview: M. Rusinov Interview: Alla
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