thumb|A peasant girl wearing a sarafan (1909), by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky
A sarafan ( rus|сарафа́н|p=sərɐˈfan, from fa|سراپا ''sarāpā'', literally "rom
head to feet") is a long, trapezoidal Russia
n jumper dress
) worn by girls and women and forming part of Russian traditional folk
Traditional Russian costume consists of straight, flowing lines. Beginning at the turn of the 18th century, the sarafan became the most popular article of peasant women's clothing in the Northern and Central regions of Russia. Sarafans were regularly worn until well into the 20th century, having first been mentioned in chronicles dating back to the year 1376. The origin of the term Sarafan lies in Persia. Old Russia cultivated especially during the era of Grand Principality of Moscow
strong ties to Western Asia
and countries of the Middle East
and served also as an intermediary in the trade between Europe and Asian countries like Persia, as well as Turkey. Sarafan most likely originated from a kaftan
-like costume that was worn in Russia by women and men. Sarafans became most popular in the Central
and Northern Russian
regions. Through trade with Central Europe, the quality and colour of clothes became better.
Sarafans had originally a tighter form but became wider through the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church
After the reforms of Peter the Great
, which also introduced modern European cultural standards to Russia, only peasants wore the Sarafan, while the upper classes switched to Central European fashion.
In many areas of the former Grand Principality of Moscow
and today's Southern Russia
also the poneva
costume was worn by women. Today the garment is most often seen at performances of Russian folk song
and is worn on Russian folk and religious holidays. Designers as well from Russia as from Ukraine are re-imagining the sarafan style with its old national heritage for the 21st century as a summertime light dress that can be with its modern shape a part of today's woman's wardrobe.
The outer layer of a Matryoshka doll
is traditionally depicted as wearing a sarafan.
File:Fort Ross Woman wearing Traditional Russian Costume b.jpg|Sarafan worn with a Kokoshnik on a Russian folk festival
File:Сарафан Шебекинский район.jpg|A simple black sarafan from Belgorod Oblast
File:Traditional Russian Folk Costumes 02.JPG|Ethnic Russian clothes
File:Osenins 0152.JPG|Russian women with treshchotka and Russian spoons in their hands. The two women on the right are wearing Sarafans.