Sankt Hans Aften

I was lucky to visit Denmark for Saint John’s Eve (Sankt Hans), which also coincides with Midsummer. Sankt Hans Aften, if you’re familiar with Christianity, starts on sunset on June 23, and is the eve of the celebration known as the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist.

Saint John the Baptist was an important figure in Christianity, but I’m not going to bore you with the details of this, because I simply have no idea who is interested or not. Either way, in Denmark, they celebrate Sankt Han’s Aften as a welcoming of midsummer solstice, and they have huge bonfires happening. People gather, make speeches and sing songs. It’s really a beautiful way of building a community together, and bringing people together.

I got a chance to experience one of these bonfire gatherings, and it is absolutely amazing. They tend to put up loudspeakers in the area, which then carries the voices of the speeches across the whole area. The one I experienced had the bonfire on a wooden deck, floating in the middle of one of the canals, which is super smart, as it prevents the fire from accidentally spreading. It’s on its own island surrounded by water, and firefighters watching carefully.

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