Photographer's Note

Ivan Kupala Day (Feast of St. John the Baptist; Polish: Noc Kupa³y or Noc ¦wiêtojañska) is celebrated in Poland, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine currently on 7 July in the Gregorian or New Style calendar, which is 24 June in the Julian or Old Style calendar still used by many of the Orthodox Churches. Calendar-wise, it is opposite to the winter solstice holiday Korochun.

Some early mythology scholars, such as Sir James Frazer, claimed that the holiday was originally Kupala a pagan fertility rite later accepted into the Orthodox Christian calendar. There are analogues for celebrating the legacy of St. John around the time of the summer solstice elsewhere, including St. John's Day in Western Europe.

The name of this holiday combines the words "Ivan", the Slavic name of John (the Baptist), and Kupala, a word derived from the Slavic word for bathing. The latter refers to the tradition of John's baptizing people through full immersion in water and therefore with the his title of the Baptist. However, some sources indicate that Kupala was a name of a pre-Christian Slavic god or goddess.

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Additional Photos by Tomasz Kwasigroch (lysy) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 23 W: 0 N: 13] (222)
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