Midsummer's Eve in Ukraine (also known as Ivan Kupala Night, Midsummer Day, Kupala Day) - is the day of summer solstice that now converges with the Christian feast of the Nativity of the Holy Prophet Forerunner and Baptist John. It is celebrated currently on the night of 7th of July in the Gregorian or New style calendar, which is 24th of June in the Julian or Old style calendar. Midsummer's Eve celebration is not only one of the most important and excited holidays of the year but also a performance filled with solar energy, ancient traditions, and romance of Kupala night.
As a national holiday, Midsummer's Eve includes many kinds of rituals:
Kupalo and Marena are the main attributes of the holiday. According to pagan beliefs, the Kupala night is the night of the marriage of Kupala, the summer god of sun, with Marena, the goddess of water. So, why the name for Midsummer's Eve in Ukrainian is Kupala nigh. The way this holiday was honored determined the future harvest that is why Kupala and Marena should be spliced during the holiday. At the end of the holiday the Kupala dummy together with Marena were burnt in the fire to let them become a couple in the sacred bonfire.
Searching for fern flower: It is believed that the flower of fern appears allegedly in the midsummer night. According to the legend, fern blooms only one brief moment in the shortest night of the year on Ivan Kupala Night. It is extremely difficult to get this flower because it's protected by demons. The one who finds the fern flower, will since that moment understand the language of any creature in the world and will be able to see all treasures hidden under the ground.
Midsummer bonfire is the central element of the night that symbolizes rise of sun.according to the legends has a great mythical meaning. Jumping over the flames is a kind of a ritual of purification. Tradition holds that when a couple in love complete the jump while holding hands they will remain together forever. If they fail, they are destined to be separate.
Making a flower wreath: Before the bonfire, women looked for those herbs in the fields. The most important herbs were: Ivan flower, burdock, wild thyme, and mullein. Girls made wreaths out of them, put them on the water and read their fortune. Others sanctified the wreaths in the church and kept them home throughout the year. If later on a man or an animal got sick, he got a potion from those wreaths' herbs.