Ivan Kupala Night: A Slavic Solstice Celebration In Ukraine
On the night of June 21, Ukrainians gathered to celebrate Ivan Kupala Night in Khortytsya, an important historical site on the Dnieper River. The festival marks the summer solstice -- the longest day and shortest night of the year -- and draws on ancient pagan and Slavic traditions. Participants danced, decorated trees, placed wreaths on the water, and created effigies of Slavic gods. Throughout Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, the holiday is often celebrated on the night of July 6, in keeping with the old Julian calendar.