Images From Ivan Kupala Night

In parts of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and Russia, an ancient pagan summer rite called Kupala combined with the traditional Orthodox feast of Saint John the Baptist, becoming Ivan Kupala Night, a festival celebrating the summer solstice. On Ivan Kupala Night, young people wear wreaths symbolizing purity, people sing and dance around bonfires, and they bathe naked in rivers and lakes. Many gather up their courage and leap over fires as a test of faith, to purge themselves of their sins and bad luck, and to improve their health. Collected here, a handful of images from Ivan Kupala Night celebrations in recent years.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Grassy Biker, Welsh Surfer, Chilean Pups

    A White Walker roams Northern Ireland, flooding threatens parts of the U.S. and Mali, a Japanese satellite visits an asteroid, American bison are raised in Mexico, and much more

  • Mahmud Hams / AFP / Getty

    Photos: 25 Fridays of Protest in Gaza

    For nearly six months now, Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have been staging weekly demonstrations along the border between Gaza and Israel—protests they call the “Great March of Return.”

  • Lucas Jackson / Reuters

    Studying Greenland’s Ice to Understand Climate Change

    Lucas Jackson, a photographer with Reuters, recently joined a team of scientists studying Greenland’s ice sheet and glaciers.

  • Jonathan Drake / Reuters

    Photos: Pet Rescues in the Wake of Hurricane Florence

    Dogs, cats, and other animals that were left behind, or caught in the storm, are being rescued and cared for by owners, neighbors, and first responders.