Magic of female floral wreaths, Belarus. Part 2


Still life and urban sketching. Art and traveL

This post is dedicated to my motherland Belarus, its legends, customs and great people.

Some legends about flowers in the girls’ wreaths. Yarrow is the symbol of freedom and rebelliousness. In many countries, bell flowers are considered an important attribute of the wreath, their joyful sound drives out evil spirits. Daisy flower in the girl wreath is the symbol of the sun and purity and loyalty, poppy flower is love, forget-me-not flower is constancy. The tradition of the wreath originates from afar and was superimposed on the Orthodox, but was not forgotten through the centuries.

The symbol of modern women, they are in white dresses and wreaths on their heads, peaceful and beautiful, and show supporting of freedom, independence and their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons.

Watercolour painting of a girl in national costume with floral wreath.

Another legend is about jumping over the fire is one of the main events of the celebration of Ivan Kupala. Jumping is considered a test of courage and simultaneously a cleansing process. Couples jump over the fire, holding hands. According to legends, if a guy and a girl cannot jump together, this is a sign of future separation.

Ancient pagan and later Christian traditions were closely intertwined in the rituals of the Belarusian Kupalya. The ceremonies for the celebration of Ivan Kupala are associated with the rituals of purification with water and fire. Dandelion in the floral wreath is the symbol of sun and light, fidelity, happiness.

Kupala is considered one of the most ancient holidays and has pagan roots. It is believed that its celebration was associated with the summer solstice. Our ancestors associated the Kupala holiday with the cult of the sun. And the word itself – “bathed” – meant being hot, angry, fervent, seething with anger. In those days, all these definitions referred to the sun. On the Kupala night, people thanked Fire, Water and Earth. On this day, according to legends, there was a purification by fire and water.

Floral wreaths with candles on the water surface.

Traditionally, women put wreaths in water to tell fortunes about their future. A wreath of multiple colours symbolizes how we are all different and stand side by side, supporting each other in any situation.

The most frequent fortune-telling in Kupalya is with a wreath collected from wild plants and flowers on this day. For example, you can guess if a wish will come true – for this you need to lower the wreath into the water at sunset and watch it. If the wreath floats far away from the shore, the wish will come true.

You might read the 1st part of this post here:

Bon voyage! Until the next travel:) Stay healthy.

All paintings belong to the author. No image is to be copied without permission.

You can visit my personal website pages here and find out more about the artwork I am offering in oil and watercolor paintings; purchase canvas prints, framed prints, and more artwork.


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