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Kupala Night in Ukraine

Kupala Night, also known as Ivan Kupala Day, is a Ukrainian observance annually held on July 7 to celebrate the summer solstice.

Some women dress in traditional clothing and floral wreaths to celebrate Ivan Kupala Day.
Some women dress in traditional clothing and floral wreaths to celebrate Ivan Kupala Day.

What Do People Do?

Many Ukrainians celebrate Kupala Night with bonfires that last throughout the night. Some people leap over the flames as it is believed that the act of jumping over the bonfire cleanses people of illness and bad luck. Some groups of people sing songs about love, romance and marriage on Kupala Night. It is also customary for some women to wear traditional clothes with embroidery and a wreath of flowers on their head to celebrate the summer night.

Public Life

Ivan Kupala Day is an observance and not a public holiday in Ukraine.


Ivan Kupala Day combines the words Ivan, the Slavic name of John the Baptist, and Kupala, derived from the Slavic word for bathing. However, is also said the name of the day is associated with Kupajla or Kupalo, a harvest god. Traditions and activities associated with this holiday can also be traced back to Pagan rituals.

Kupala Night is linked with the summer solstice celebrations. The July 7 date is not the actual day of the June solstice, also the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. According to the Julian calendar, Kupala Night is on June 24, which in theory is closer to the June solstice.


It is believed that the act of leaping over bonfires purifies people from sickness and bad luck. Water is thought to be another purifying element.

Kupala Night Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
WedJul 72010Kupala NightObservance
ThuJul 72011Kupala NightObservance
SatJul 72012Kupala NightObservance
SunJul 72013Kupala NightObservance
MonJul 72014Kupala NightObservance
TueJul 72015Kupala NightObservance
ThuJul 72016Kupala NightObservance
FriJul 72017Kupala NightObservance
SatJul 72018Kupala NightObservance
SunJul 72019Kupala NightObservance
TueJul 72020Kupala NightObservance

Quick Facts

Kupala Night is celebrated in Ukraine on July 7 each year.

Kupala Night 2016

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Kupala Night 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017


Name in other languages

День Ивана КупалыRussian
День Івана КупалиUkrainian
Kupala NightEnglish
Ivan KupalaNorwegian

Alternative name

Ivan Kupala Day

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in July 2016 in Ukraine

Fun Holiday on July 7, 2016

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