Those Crazy Danes – Happy Midsummer!

Another month, another quaint Danish tradition! ūüėČ 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! ūüôā