Happy Sankt Hans! Happy Midsummer!

* * This post appeared earlier today on www.denmark.dk – the official website of Denmark.

The direct link is

http://blogs.denmark.dk/diane/2011/06/22/sankt-hans/  * *


Tomorrow night the Danes – young and old – will be out in force celebrating Sankt Hans Aften(Saint John’s Evening).

It’s a celebration of the summer solstice and falls on the evening of the 23rd of June. The Danes gather around bonfires, often topped with effigies of witches – the idea being to send them off to North Germany, ha! There are bonfires everywhere. 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 båltale (bonfire speech) by a local dignitary or VIP and, at around 10pm when it’s just beginning to get dark, 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).

Two years ago the kids and I went down to celebrate Sankt Hans at 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 (very large) icecreams, while others enjoyed dinner on their boats and yachts (anyone want to invite me this year? Please?) and a good time was had by all…

Let’s cross our fingers that the Danish weather gods will be on our side again tomorrow night…

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Happy Sankt Hans! Happy Midsummer!”

  1. Wow -that's 9 at night?! What time does the sun set for you this time of year?

  2. Hi C! The sun comes up at around 4.30am and doesn't set til 10pm – so yes, we have long, long summer nights! xo

    Heather – the same to you, with or without a bonfire! 😀

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