Slavic mythology: the legend of Kostroma and Kupalo

Slavic mythology: the legend of Kostroma and Kupalo


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There is a myth in Slavic folklore, in which Kostroma Y Kupalo they were twin brothers, children of Simargl, god of fire, and Kupalnitsa, goddess of the night.

One day, Kostroma and Kupalo they ran into a field to hear the songs of the birds Sirin (the bird of sadness) and Alkonost (bird of joy), both dangerous birds, especially Sirin.

The legend tells that who heard the singing of Sirin, forever entered the Nav, the dead's world for the Slavs. Kostroma heard the song of Alkonost, while Kupalo heard Sirin's song.

By Chernabog order, Sirin kidnapped Kupalo, taking it to the Nav.

Many years after that Kostroma was walking along the bank of the Volga River and made a wreath. She boasted that the wind would not be able to pull the crown off her head and, according to legend, that would mean that she would not marry.

This boast was not approved by the gods, who made the wind blow harder, knocking the crown off Kostroma's head and falling into the water, was picked up by Kupalo.

Following the Slavic customs, whoever collected the crown had to marry necessarily with the girl who had made it. Kostroma and Kupalo fell in love and married, not knowing that they were brothers.

After the wedding, the gods told them the truth and for that reason they committed suicide. Kupalo jumped into the fire, and Kostroma ran into the forest lake, jumping into it and drowning.

But she didn't die, but became a Mavka (female spirit in ukrainian mythology) who was walking along the shores of that lake. Every time she saw a man, she seduced him by making him jump into the water, believing he was her lover. But nevertheless, when Mavka realizes it's not about Kupalo, it is too late and the young man has already drowned.

The gods regretted seeing that it was too cruel a revenge, but it was not possible to return Kupala and Kostroma the human body, for which turned them into a yellow and blue flower: fiery yellow was the color of Kupala, and blue, like the waters of a lake, was the color of Kostroma.

The Slavs gave it the name of Kupalo-da-Mavka (Kupalo and Mavka). With Christianization in Rus, the flower was renamed Ivan da Marya (Melampyrum nemorosum).

Images: Public Domain on Wikimedia

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