Celebrate Midsummer Day

Arkhangelsk Region

Russia Beyond
Russia Beyond
Arkhangelsk Region and the Kenozero National Park will captivate you at any time of the year. You can admire endless lakes, breathe fresh air in the thick green forests or, if you are lucky enough to visit in July, celebrate the most summery holiday - Midsummer Day!

The program of Midsummer Day in Kenozero National Park includes fervent folk songs, performances by folklore groups, noisy and fun games for all ages, traditional food and drinks, and, of course, real rituals and a big, big group dance.

And don’t forget to make a wish on Midsummer’s Day at sunset: it is believed that it is at this time that spirits most actively communicate with people. The choice is very large: from the simplest chamomile to throwing a Kupala wreath. What if you’re lucky and the wish will come true that very evening?

How to celebrate Ivanov’s Day?

🏞 The easiest way to get to Kenozersky Park from Arkhangelsk is by car, the road will take you no more than 7-8 hours. Time will fly by unnoticed: the views outside the window are fabulous!

🏡 You can stay on the territory of the national park both in guest houses and with local residents who rent out accommodation. Be sure to ask the park staff for permission to visit and find out about all the activities, attractions and events available to you.

🎉 In addition to the variety of hiking routes and a huge list of excursions, pay attention to the festivals and holidays that take place in the Kenozero National Park. The Forum of Traditional Knowledge deserves special attention, which, in 2022, was timed to coincide with Ivanov’s Day (early July): here, you can truly feel the culture of the Russian north and be fascinated by its traditions.

😘 And of course, be sure to take part in noisy festivities, folk kissing and sports games. We promise it will be fun!

History of the holiday

Midsummer Day or Ivan Kupala is not only jumping over a fire, songs, dances and games, but also a mystical ceremony, especially important since ancient times, and is usually held in early July.

It was believed that, at this time, spirits and evil spirits manifest themselves especially strongly in the earthly world. Therefore, for example, it was strictly forbidden to let a stranger into the house or sleep on Kupala night - otherwise the evil spirits would get through!

Therefore, if you want to make a wish, then certainly on the evening of Ivanov’s Day! Moreover, there are a huge number of rites and rituals, but most of them are devoted to issues of love and fate.

Our ancestors made wishes with almost anything that was at hand: rings, flowers, fern leaves, candle wax and circles on the water.

And even those same jumps over the fire were also of a ritual nature: fire gave strength and courage to a man, beauty to a woman. The couples tested how strong their love is: if they held hands during the jump, then they were destined to be together!

The easiest option is fortune-telling on a Kupala wreath: just before sunset, young people make a wish, release wreaths on the water and carefully monitor how they behave. If the wreath floats away from the owner, then the wish is destined to come true; but if it is washed ashore or it sinks, then, alas, not this year! But, you will definitely be lucky in something, we checked!


Russia Beyond expresses special gratitude to the staff of the Kenozero National Park @kenozerolife  for their help in preparing and organizing the filming, as well as the @terjuhinagency team and Nikolai Teryukhin for their participation!

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