May 29, 2016

2583 BELARUS - Kupalle Holiday

2583 "Kupalle Holiday" (1921-1922), painting by Mikhail Filipovich

Kupala Night, also known as Ivan Kupala Day (Feast of St. John the BaptistBelarusian: Купалле / Kupalle), is celebrated in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Baltic countries and Russia currently on the night of 6/7 July in the Gregorian or New Style calendar, which is 23/24 June in the Julian or Old Style calendar still used by many Orthodox Churches. The celebration relates to the summer solstice when nights are the shortest and includes a number of Slavic rituals.

Many of the rites related to this holiday within Slavic religious beliefs, due to the ancient Kupala rites, are connected with the role of water in fertility and ritual purification. On Kupala day, young people jump over the flames of bonfires in a ritual test of bravery and faith. The failure of a couple in love to complete the jump while holding hands is a sign of their destined separation. Girls may float wreaths of flowers on rivers, and would attempt to gain foresight into their relationship fortunes from the flow patterns of the flowers on the river.

There is an ancient Kupala belief that the eve of Ivan Kupala is the only time of the year when ferns bloom. Prosperity, luck, discernment and power would befall on whoever finds a fern flower. Therefore, on that night, village folk would roam through the forests in search of magical herbs and especially the elusive fern flower. The unmarried women are the first to enter the forest, followed by young men. Therefore, the quest to find the fern flower may lead to the blooming of relationships between men and women within the forest.

About the stamps

The stamp, Chronicles of Victory - Defence of Brest Fortress, was issued on June 21, 2013.

Kupala Night - Wikipedia

Sender: Anastasia / Gormoshkina (postcrossing) BY 1863580
Sent from Minsk (Minsk / Belarus), on 16.03.2016

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