Those Crazy Danes – Happy Midsummer!

Another month, another quaint Danish tradition! 😉 Tonight we’re celebrating Sankt Hans Aften, which translates literally as Saint John’s Evening. In practice it’s a celebration of the summer solstice and falls on the evening of the 23rd of June. The Danes gather around bonfires (some topped with effigies of witches – the idea is to send them off to Germany, tee hee!) all along the coast and beaches, in parks and forests and in town centres. Some bring a picnic dinner to share, there’s usually a speech by a local dignitary or VIP and, at 9 or 10pm, the bonfire is set alight and that’s your cue to start singing a midsommervise (midsummer hymn) called Vi elsker vort land (We love our country).

Last year the kids and I went down to the canal in Hellerup. A gospel choir entertained hundreds of spectators with a short concert and at 9pm the bonfire – out on a pallet on the water – was set ablaze. We sat on the quayside, equipped with icecreams, while others enjoyed dinner on their boats and yachts (on my wish list for next year!) and a good time was had by all…

Have a wonderful midsummer Wednesday! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Those Crazy Danes – Happy Midsummer!”

  1. That video is beautiful Diane!

    What time do you have to stay up to enjoy the blaze by moonlight? I live where it's light until almost midnight during the summer so any celebrations with fire works tend to be underwhelming if you want the kids in bed by 11 p.m.

    My dream is to have my birthday in Sweden one day during Midsummer celebrations. I'm 40 this year so any bonfire celebrations here are on a cake;)

  2. Jen – It isn't dark here either until between 11 and midnight. Love those long summer nights! When's your birthday?

    Elisa – you could always move here and change your nationality… ;D

    Asfora – you're very welcome to them! 🙂

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