Sankt Hans Night
Sankt Hans aften will be held on June 23rd, celebrating the summer solstice, the shortest night of the year when . In Denmark , Sankt Hans is celebrated with bonfires and barbeques all over the country.
Sankt Hans Aften gets its name from St. John the Baptist, who, according to christiatn tradition, was born six months before Jesus (December 24th). Bonfires are lit to celebrate the eve of St. Johns birthday and dates back to the early 1600s.
According to the legend, the night is filled with evil, as witches make their way to the highest summit in northern Germany. Danes light bonfires to ward them off and even burn witch figures in the bonfires.
After the bonfire is lit, everyone is invited to sing along to “Vi elsker vort land” (we love our country), which you can learn to lyrics to here.
There will be bonfires all over Denmark and Danes will meet with family and friends for dinner and then head to a bonfire near them. Click here to find out where you can celebrate it this year (in Danish).
Remember that many municipalities have enforced a burning ban - so be sure to check if your municpality before lighting a fire. See the list here