The role of water in Kupala rituals in Transcarpathia


The role of water in the Kupala celebration it has always been extremely important. All the rituals of water of Midsummer, small plant value.

Purified in this holiday in the first place by using swimming. It was always combined with jumping over Kupala bonfires. In ancient times, water, as well as fire, were considered equivalent to the cleansing elements. In support of these words, it is enough to recall the folk custom of extinguishing fires caused by lightning not with water, but with milk. This, perhaps, is a remnant of pagan beliefs about fire and water as equivalent elements that should not be scolded among themselves.

For the population mountain in Transcarpathia on Ivan Kupala, the tradition of bathing in the morning before sunrise or with sunrise was characteristic.

In Transcarpathia on Ivan Kupala day not only people bathed, but also their livestock. It was believed that Kupala water has a healing effect for cattle. In Transcarpathia, in mountainous areas, it was believed that Kupala rites with water they can increase milk yield. Milk was in peasant, usually large families families are the main food, so it is the owner’s concern that there is plenty of it.

Hutsuls they believed that even the sun bathed in water on Ivan Kupala. That is why from this day they started swimming in rivers and other reservoirs. The Hutsul custom to bathe in dew before sunrise on Kupala is connected with the same ideas. Hutsuls adhered to it.

Parallel to another survivor a form of sexual magic was a girl’s divination about future marriage.

It was believed that the power of grace Kupala dew or water, could use witches, which in the Carpathians called “bosorkanya”.

To collect Kupala dew dragged on the grass, a cloth or tablecloth, which was then twisted to produce miraculous water.

Although rituals vinkopletin and divination on wreaths did not have a distribution in Transcarpathia, but here ethnographers recorded peculiar beliefs in Kupala water not only as a means of predicting the future, but also as a factor influence on the fate of a person. So, gutsulka was on the dawn of Midsummer, a waterfall, substituted dried wheat crust and muttering various spells. Then the girl brought home the cake, dried it, and then pushed it into small crumbs and stealthily spiked their dishes on a guy she wanted to charm into marrying him.

On the territory of Transcarpathia there was a custom, which forbade bathing to Ivan kupal, and the day of the Kupala celebration began, so to speak, the bathing season. On Ivan Kupala, people bathed EN masse. To the Lee river the other reservoir was all old and small.

Bathing season, according to folk traditions, it lasted from Ivan to Ilya (August 2 to the present day). such borders for the climate of our region are reasonable and justified: before the beginning of July and from the middle of August, water is no longer sufficient heat, which could cause various colds. Therefore, it is customary to bathe from Ivan to Ilya, mystical moments are intertwined with rational expediency, with real practical life experience of the people.

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