Friday, 14 July 2006

Skt. Hans - a Danish Midsummer Celebration

On June 23 I went with a friend to the ancient Danish midsummer celebration of Skt. Hans. In the old times this was an occasion to burn witches and we still do it today, although the witches are now made of paper machee and similar materials.

On this night, which is one of the longest of the year, houndreds of people get together to see the witch go up into flames and sing old, traditional midsummer songs. Here the bonfire has just been lit...

...and a few minutes later the witch has finally caught fire much to the celebration of the crowd. Perhaps this is not far off from how real witch burnings took place some 450 years ago.

My friend Morten poses in front of the bonfire after the witch had been burned to ashes.

There was also time to enjoy a quiet beer in the nearby field. It is amazing to be able to sit out in full daylight untill well after 22:00 (10 pm).

And finally the midsummer night's sun was setting behind the bonfire which was just beginning to catch on.

No comments: