Rus Articles Journal

Ivan Kupala or John the Forerunner`s Christmas - what name correct?

Ivan Kupala - one of the few pagan holidays which remained till today, the analog having in Christianity - day of Christmas of John the Forerunner. That it is the same character who is available in different religious contexts there is no sense to argue because Ivan Kupala, and John the Baptist carry out the same functions connected with immersion of the person in a water font.

History of emergence of Ivan Kupala as antagonist of new religion, traditionally connect with arrival of Christianity. This day waited for the whole year, prepared for it in hope to receive some favor from gods to whom a certain sacrifice was made. Holiday begin at night, on the river bank or other reservoir when the modern person sees only a possibility of the participation in ancient rituals where it is possible, having stripped to the skin, to be turned in a round dance, to jump through a fire and to dive then into water. Girls spun wreaths and let them on a current, in hope to attract the narrowed.

The flower of a fern which grants desires and opens all locks and treasures was the main attribute of a holiday of Ivan Kupala. The belief said that the fern blossoms only in kupalsky night, and it is a lot of persons interested to possess this wonderful phenomenon made many efforts to find it.

Mythological value of this holiday in the people is lost long ago therefore the ancient pagan tradition only in magical practicians and national signs which to interpret is used there is no need. This value is known by neither scientific historians, nor the theologians denying all paganism entirely the pagans trying to recreate ancient custom. Only the general ceremony including a round dance, fire and water remained.

Interpretation of ancient national festival on Ivan Kupala by religious figures or their opponents - the representatives of science trying to explain an essence of pagan customs is far-fetched and is not true. At the same time both parties have equal positions where the scientist - “renegade“ should not be perceived as the representative of science, and the scientist - the theologian has knowledge in the matter absolutely not smaller, than at the academician from history.

Emergence of the Russian fantasy, some kind of fairy tales constructed on pagan outlook became one of the factors promoting involvement of people to pagan holidays. Alexander Green said about it that the fairy tale is necessary not only to children, but also adults. The fairy tale causes nervousness - a source of high and human passions. She does not allow us to calm down and shows always the new, sparkling distances, other life, she disturbs and forces to wish this life passionately. In it its value.

Pagan views long time remained in the people and were shown in game options, ceremonies, round games, songs, fairy tales which religious essence disappeared for a long time. The symbolical principles of paganism were forgotten, and magic fairy tales lost the mythological sense. And the forms of pagan creativity repeated by descendants are presented by country culture in which the belief of “small“ deities (rural magic) remained. For example, the faith in the brownie and other representatives of the parallel world, cutting of “fetters“ at the been born child or when hide the first dropped-out tooth and is a lot of another.

The paganism in Russia remained in the form of festive celebrations and rituals on New Year`s holidays, and John the Forerunner`s Christmas (Ivan Kupala) costs in a calendar circle opposite to Jesus Christ`s Christmas therefore he also is called the Forerunner. In Christianity in this occasion there is the corresponding history when Jesus and Ioann who were not born still met and recognized each other.

The people do not wish to forget the pagan rite which was pleasant to it, subconsciously including its important event in the life, and correctly do, such festivals pull together people. They allow people as Alexander Green spoke about it, to meet the fairy tale which is necessary not only to children, but also adults, for understanding of internal sensual nervousness. Such especially personal pacification against a general holiday does not require no paganism with its unclear views. Therefore there was a holiday in which the people do not bring special religious judgments.