The Bantry Development & Tourism Association has been meeting with embassy representatives from various countries to prepare a midsummer “Bantry Kupala Festival.” On April 4th, Eileen O’Shea, Fergal Conlon, and Karlis Dzjamko met with the Latvian embassy to discuss the Bantry multicultural midsummer festival 2019. Edite Medne and Janis Silis visited Bantry for the first time, and they enjoyed the beautiful town of Bantry. Pictured are Eileen O’Shea, Chairman of the Bantry Development & Tourism Association, Fergal Conlon of the West Cork Development Partnership, Janis Silis, Ambassador of the Latvian Embassy, and Edite Medne, Counsellor of the Latvian Embassy.
Bantry Development & Tourism Association is inviting everyone to join a Midsummer multicultural celebration at the Bantry Kupala Festival 2021. This year the festival marks its fourth year and is well known around West Cork and through Ireland, the festival was started in 2017 and has been continuously supporting artists from all backgrounds, in this year’s programme festival features a unique range of artists throughout Ireland and rest of Europe, in the first time of festival history we are welcomed by theatre group; ‘’4th Town Theatre’’ and musician ‘’Black card’’ from Poland. This year’s festival guests include: ‘’Amdie’’ Anauhac Mexican Dance Ireland, ‘’Aatma’’ Indian Dance Troupe, Beata Baranowska, Blank Card, Eileen O’ Shea, Fergal Conlon, Karlis Dzjamko, Peter Carney and Friends, ‘’TDK Karbunkulis’’ (Latvian Folk Dancing in Ireland), ‘’The Left Hand Drive Band’’ and Paudy Hourihane, 4th Town Theatre from Poland. The festival occurs from 20th June to 25th and is welcome to all ages. For more information on the festival please visit our Facebook page (Bantry Kupala Festival). Festival main event which includes workshops is on the 20th June and anyone can join us through zoom a full interaction and to take a part in our workshops – meeting ID: 84439528593. A full version of the festival will be available on our social media.
The celebration of Kupala Night is a mysterious but tempting event. Young women weave wreaths and try to tell their fortunes about a future marriage, setting them afloat in the quest for happiness and wealth, and couples jump over a bonfire in a bid for their future togetherness.
it is also the night of malicious spirits, so you need to be extremely careful and prudent about what you do. Kupala Night is celebrated in Russia, Poland,Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia and many more European countries. Kupala Night is an ancient celebration of the Eastern Slavs, dedicated to the summer solstice when the day starts to decrease, and the night increases. Thus, from year to year, it comes on July, 6 and ends on July, 7.
It is believed that on this day rituals protect homes and beloved ones, strengthen health and bring happiness. Not surprisingly, it has always been associated with various traditions, superstitions and beliefs that appeared in pre-Christian times. Most of the traditions for Kupala Night trace back to the pagan past. For instance, one of the most widely adhered to ones is that all the possible evil spirits like witches, snakes, water, mermaids, and werewolves awaken at this time.
Therefore, you shouldn’t sleep on Kupala Night. It is customary to go to a pond, a river or a lake and celebrate the holiday there. However, you cannot swim, as bad spirits can make you drown. On Kupala Night, primarily young women guessed about their fiancé and future family. The popular divination is to weave a wreath of wildflowers while making a wish, and then to let it go on the river.
If the wreath floats far away, the wish will come true, and if it is beaten to the shore or sinks, then you should forget about your dream for a while. Another ritual implies jumping over a bonfire. After sunset, the youth kindled a huge fire, and holding hands couples leapt over it. If the young couple do not separate their hands, it means they are destined to be together; if not, a couple will soon break up. It is also important to mention the legend about the fern. It is believed that Kupala Night is the only time of the year when the flower of the fern blooms, and a person who finds this flower will be happy and prosperous during the rest of his or her life.
Every year around the time of Kupala Night, the Bantry Kupala Festival celebrates the summer solstice and brings different cultures together to demonstrate cultural variety from throughout Europe and the rest of the globe via a series of performances. To not miss out on anything exciting, subscribe to the festival newsletter to learn more about forthcoming festival news, announcements, and much more.