Advice 1: When the longest day and the shortest day of the year

The shortest and the longest day has long been important milestones in the annual cycle. Since astronomical phenomena are ruled way of life of people in the cultural traditions of many peoples originated rituals and celebrations associated with this day. Today the duration of the summer and winter solstice is calculated down to the minute for many years to come.
On the night of Ivan Kupala were jumping over bonfires

Summer solstice

With the arrival of spring becomes evident that the sun rises higher above the horizon at noon, and behind him tonight. Finally, in the early summer shone reaches its highest point - it's the summer solstice. Date of the longest day of the year depends on the hemisphere and leap year. In the Northern hemisphere the summer solstice occurs on 20 June, if the year has 365 days, and 21 June, if 366. And in the southern hemisphere in a leap year the longest day is December 22, and in a normal year - December 21.

After the longest day is the shortest night. According to the old Slavic legends, it was a magical time: the forces of useful plants has increased enormously, vorogushin girls certainly showed up the men. Swim earlier that day was strictly forbidden, as it was believed that the water sit the hell. On the summer solstice the hell out of the water left until the beginning of August, so all day bathed and poured water.

When pagan traditions were pushed away by the Christian, this holiday is called day of John the Baptist. And since John was baptizing by immersion in water - it turned out the day of Ivan Kupala. Planted in the fertile soil of ancient belief, the holiday has taken root and survived as a popular douche.
In the old calendar Midsummer day and Midsummer were the same, but the new style of the festival has shifted to 7 July.

Winter solstice

After the summer solstice the day starts to wane. Gradually the Sun reaches the lowest point. In the Northern hemisphere the shortest day of the year occurs in December 21 or 22, and to the South on 20 or 21 June depending on leap year or not. After the longest night, the countdown begins - now the day begins to arrive before the summer solstice, and then again fall to winter.

The winter solstice was celebrated in primitive communities, when before the long winter people have scored all the cattle that could not feed, and arranged a feast. Later that day received another meaning - the awakening of life. The most famous feast of the solstice - a medieval Yule, the Germanic peoples. In the night, after which the sun begins to rise above, lit bonfires in the fields, blessed the crops and trees, boiled cider.

In Greek mythology the Lord of the underworld Hades was allowed to visit Olympus for only two days a year - for summer and winter solstice.

Later he merged with the celebration of Christmas, adding to the Christian pagan traditions - for example, kissing under the mistletoe.

Advice 2: When the day of Ivan Kupala

Midsummer day, or the day of Ivan Kupala is one of the most important pagan Slavic holidays. They celebrated it in the summer solstice. With the emergence of Christianity in Russia, it was correlated with the day of the Nativity of John the Baptist.
When the day of Ivan Kupala

The day of Ivan Kupala: pagan rites

Every year on the night of 6 to 7 July in Russia still celebrate Midsummer, also known as Midsummer. In some European countries (e.g. in Finland) to celebrate this day, old style, in the period of the summer solstice on the 23rd and 24th of June.

This holiday encompasses so many shades of paganism ancient and mysterious customs. It's filled with lots of mystical elements and breathtaking magic.

In ancient times, the pagan Slavs held a variety of ceremonies, which was a lot. A feature of certain ceremonies was that they need to produce only the night before Ivanov in the afternoon. And this is no accident. In such a period, as it was considered that the water its mystical properties and helps get rid of many diseases.

So swimming was the main ceremony, which was to hold every person. In the absence of a lake or river, the pagans flooded his bath and began to bathe. With the aid of a couple they were free from ailments.
The pagans loved in Midsummer to jump over the fire. They believed that the higher you go over it, the happier life will be.

The fire also has mystical properties. Slavs have a bonfire on the shore of a lake or river and began to drive around it dances. Thus, they freed themselves from disease and evil spirits that have accumulated in them.
The particular belief was in young couples: if a girl and a guy can jump over the fire not Razumkov their hands, their marriage will be very strong.

Mother also did not stand aside. They brought the old clothes of their ill children and burned it. Thus mother freed her child from physical and mental diseases and ailments. The peculiarity of this night is that at this time in any case can not sleep. The fact that it was in the night on Midsummer day become active goblins, mermaids, witches and other evil spirits that can defeat the human hibernation, to bring him pain and suffering.

Divination on the day of Ivan Kupala

In the past a favorite pastime of young girls was reading. As a rule, they used this woven wreath. They put it on the surface of the water and released to float freely. If he swam well, it was believed that life will be happy. If the wreath sank, life will be less successful and it will be difficult to marry.

The holiday of Ivan Kupala was a kind of carnival in Slavonic. On this day, allowed to do very much, leaving aside the limits of decency. The tradition of Midsummer are unable to change even the strict morality of Christianity. No wonder Ivan Kupala also popularly called Ivan Gossim.
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