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Russian Summer is in full swing: Celebrting the “Ivan Kupala” Festival

Ivan Kupala Day combines the words: the Slavic name Ivan (St. John the Baptist), and Kupala, which is derived from the Slavic word for bathing. Traditions and activities associated with this holiday is closely linked to Pagan rituals.

Usually people lit bonfires to dance around and leap over. Another tradition was to pour water on everyone in sight. It is believed that the acts of jumping over bonfires and water pouring purify people from bad luck and sickness.

ivan kupala novosibirsk


Usually the Ivan Kupala Day is celebrated all over Russia during the period of 23 of June – 7 of July. However, different regions celebrate the day in different ways. For instance, it is considered to be a real joy to pour a pail of water into the open doors of a bus or on a random car in Novosibirsk.

We found the most remarkable events so you can get acquainted with Russian countryside and immerse yourself in fresh air and traditional Russian fun!


1. Traditional folk festival “Ivan Kupala” will be held at the Chelyabinsk State museum-reserve Arkaim.

From folk rituals and games to cuisine tasting and handcraft workshops – the Festival is a diverse collection of events and activities aimed at all ages.

Three days of fun and entertaining set in the museum-reserve Arkaim on a picturesque background of the Southern Urals steppe.

There is a hotel in the reserve. Prices vary from 300 to 750 rub per night.

kupalo photoWhen:
July 3-5, 2015

Where: Chelyabinsk State museum-reserve Arkaim

How to get there: A daily bus runs between Chelyabinsk and Arkaim:

To Arkaim:
Departure from the bus station in Chelyabinsk (Sports Palace “Yunost” (Rus: Дворец спорта «Юность», Dvorets Sporta “Yunost”)
Departure time from Chelyabinsk: 15:59 and 08:00
Travel time: 6.30 – 7 hours

From Arkaim:
Departure from the tourist camp “Arkaim”
Departure time from Arkaim: 02:10 (Sunday: 06:10) and 15:00
Travel time: 6.30 – 7 hours

Event cost: free

Website: (Rus)


2. Veliky Novgorod

The celebrations of the Ivan Kupala day will take place in different Russian cities, including Novgorod. This city safeguarded many Russian ancient traditions. Kupala day is the festival of Summer solstice, magic rituals and mysteries – is one of the most favorite events among the people of all the ages.


When: July 4-5, 2015

Where: the Ilmen Lake coast

Event cost:

  • 1300 roubles (by bus with meal option)
  • 1240 roubles (by your car with meal option)
  • 800 (children ticket. Note that children are no older than 12 years old).



The festival program includes a rite “fulfillment of all desires”, Soyma sailing, tasting Kupala porridge and Novgorod fish soup, lighting bonfires, ritual dances and games.


ivan kupala novgorod



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