Russia Summer Solstice Events

Yarga in Russia – ‘Kupala’ Summer Solstice Festival

Join Yarga, the Slavic brotherhood in their summer solstice festival in Russia!


Above is photo from the Slavic brotherhood, Yarga, celebrating the Summer Solstice in Russia

What: Kupala (Summer Solstice Festival)

Who: Yarga, the Slavic Brotherhood  with the support of the Volokolamsk historical and archaeological museum.

When: Summer Solstice. Exact days to be confirmed.

Where: Ethnographic grounds ‘Red Meadow’ (“Красный Луг”) at the Ruza river near Volokolamsk in the Moscow region.




About: Ivan Kupala is a popular Slavic holiday known for its association with floating wreaths and bathing in water, as well as its fire related activities such as jumping over bonfires. Ivan Kupala celebrates the birth of John the Baptist three days after the Summer Solstice, but the original Slavic celebration of Kupala at this time predates Christianity.

Using the name ‘Kupala’, every year the pagan group Yarga and participants celebrate the Summer Solstice in an organised get-together consisting of ceremonies and summer festivities that last several days culminating in the main evening’s ceremony and events. This pagan festival takes place in the wonderful setting of ‘Red Meadow’, a green and historically rich area by the banks of the Ruza river.

Visit this page for a full itinerary of Kupala’s 2015 summer solstice celebrations.

Get a glimpse of the 2012 Kupala celebrations at Red Meadow from this slideshow video below:

Please note: This event is not run by The Spiritual Sun. Please see or contact these websites 1, 2, 3, 4 for more information and details about the event of Kupala 2016. Please see this page for the rules of conduct at their celebration. The websites and celebrations are in Russian.

Article and research by Karim. Photo attributions Yaroslav Nikitin

Back to the traditional celebrations page.

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  • The pictures are really beautiful and it seems like everyone was is ready to put in a lot of efforts in the organization of the whole event, I like how it seems they even had their clothes created specially for it.

  • Wow, this looks incredible. I wish I could attend! 🙂 I love the beautiful garments, the large bonfires, the gorgeous wreaths, and the beauty of the whole gathering.


    Bыглядит просто замечательно! Я бы с удовольствием присоединилась 🙂 — прекрасноя одежда, классный костры, великолепные цветы, и выглядит очень радостно.

  • Wow, what an inspiring post!

    I am not surprised that such celebrations still exist in Russian, but personally I don’t actually know of any real events happening.

    Great Post, and thanks for the research

    • Hey Aleks,

      I was very impressed as well by this event! If you look at their beautiful clothing, jewellery items and ceremonial objects, planned activties, level of organisation etc. It’s obvious that it’s a ‘well seasoned’ celebration. So over time and I’m sure by a lot of efforts of dediacted people it has been able to grow and flourish into what it is now.

      I found there’s quite a bit to learn from this particular Kupala event and it’s very inspiring indeed.

    • Hello Ella,

      It also looks wonderful to me. Time spent in nature like that, together with others who share an interest, and with a whole range of activties geared towards the summer solstice celebration. Something to be jealous of when living in a western city 🙂

  • Woww, that’s some proper Slavic bonfire there (at around 6:00 of the video)! 🙂 It is interesting to see how similar all these Slavic celebrations are, for example that burning swastika-like symbol, or the custom of jumping through the fires. In Czech republic, the summer solstice celebration is also named “koupala”, meaning “bathing in water”. Thanks Karim for the research, I was wondering if you found any cases of these celebrations in Netherlands?

    • Hi Lucia, I see the big bonfire caught your eye straightaway 😉

      I also noticed that many aspects and activties of their celebration are shared among other Slavic Kupala celebrations. I might look a bit more into this particular celebration and possibly share it, if useful.

      • Sorry, a correction: in Czech language this celebration is called Kupadla, not Koupala. Here is a translation of what a Czech group of Slovansky Kruh writes about it on their page (

        “Kupadla is a celebration of the sun. On this day, the sun stays on the sky the longest time, and thus the night is shortest. In this ceremony, the healing power of the sun is connected with the healing power of water. Our ancestors celebrated this holiday in order to ensure the successful harvest – the moisture was summoned by the baths and the heat was summoned by the fire. It was also a feast of fertility. Girls made wreaths from 9 herbs, which were then used to decorate themselves or sent down by water, so they could be captured by a young man and they could marry well.”

        And some pictures from a more private celebration of it:

  • Wow its amazing to see so many people involved in this special event, and what a great bon fire reminds me of fire works night as a kid : )

    • I also thought it was very nice to see so many people at this event. Looking at some of their videos from 2007 the number of people attending seems to be increasing every year.

      The bonfire is pretty impressive indeed, its intense heat can be felt 10+ meters away 🙂 and many people warm themselves up to this great fire.

  • I really enjoyed all the images in the video and it’s been nice to see that everyone is so happy to be there. Certainly this was a great turn out for the summer solstice.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hey John, I agree the people there, kids and adults alike, seem quite happy and enjoying their time outside in the lovely meadows there. The summer solstice also lends itself well to such a celebratory atmosphere I think.

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