Sobótka night of 21 to 22 June Is older than the Polish state. It is called Midsummer Night, BonfireNight, orŚwiętojańska(named after John the Baptist). Rite celebrated traditionally in this shortest night of the year are ancient Slaviccustom. Looking for a flower of a fern, traditional spectacle of floating wreaths down river , divinations and fun are inextricably related with a welcome of summer.
The most popular custom of the Midsummer night it is throwing wreaths into the water, it is a divination for young ladies and bachelors, as it concerns marriage and awaited love.
Well-known habit cultivated in many places in Poland is Bonfires. These outbreaks were called holy fire and holy light. According to belief, the sacred fire has the power to destroy the invisible forces of darkness. Therefore, besides the fun, the Bonfires were designed to deter demons in a distance from the sown fields.
In this night kindles a fire called Sobótka. For the first time the name Sobótka (bonfire) appears in written sources in the thirteenth century, together with a description of the dancing circles, formed by women, who sang songs with a request to St. John for a fervent love and forthcoming marriage.
The boys show off the dexterity in jumping through fire, and about midnight went in search of a fern flower, but often it was only an excuse to go along with the girl to a dark forest.
In St. John's Night searched fern flower, which was to bring the finder great happiness, wisdom and the ability to see all the treasures hidden in the ground. Unusual fern flower blooms once a year - just in Midsummer Night It can be found only a man brave and noble. On the one hand this flower ensures lucky , wealth and opportunity to influence the feelings of others, but unfortunately the other - it deprives the finder of authentic feelings.
Feast of fire, water, sun and moon, fertility, joy and love - is celebrated in areas inhabited by Slav peoples, Baltic, Germanic and Celtic, as well as by some nations derived from the Finno-Ugric nations such as the Finns (in Finland's Eve night is one of the most important holidays in the calendar), and Estonians. Midsummer - Līgo in Latvia is a public holiday. Also in the Republic of Lithuania, since 2005, 24 June is a day free from work.
"Bonfire" Figure by Kedzierski, "Weekly Illustrated" in 1884..
Henryk Siemiradzki - Night on the Eve of Ivan Kupala
The end Music – Bedřich Smetana – Vltava the suites „My Homeland” Illustrations taken from web sites A presentationprepared - Anna