Voices From Russia, Too

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

12 July 2011. RIA-Novosti Reports… Celebration of Ivan Kupala Day on the Banks of Lake Ilmen

The village of Yuryevo, located on the banks of Lake Ilmen in Novgorod Oblast, celebrated a traditional folk holiday, Ivan Kupala Day, on 2 July.

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The villagers welcomed their guests with traditional offering of bread and salt, and they invited their visitors to participate in a number of events such as round dances, swimming, folklore rituals, and traditional games.

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Everyone feasted on traditional Kupala kasha, and could try the special Novgorod ukha (fish soup). Many of those present wove wreaths from flowers, which they gave to their special someone.

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Both couples and singles took a dip in the lake, which was part of an ancient folk purification ritual.

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A big bonfire was lit, and the people danced around it.

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The bravest and most daring sorts jumped over the bonfire, as the folk belief says that the fire cleanses all who jump over it.

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Musicians played folk music throughout the day.

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Even the heavy thunderstorm that came towards the end of the day couldn’t ruin the fun.

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4 July 2011

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/photolents/20110704/397207431.html

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