Tuesday, 23 June 2009

St. John's Eve

Yesterday I carried some branches from our garden for a bonfire in a local park. It was set on fire earlier this evening to celebrate St. John's Eve or in Danish: 'Sankt Hans aften'. The tradition of midsummer bonfires is known in many countries, see e.g. Wikipedia's entry on Midsummer, but I think the Danish tradition has its own peculiarities as described here.On the one hand I find it interesting that our past is not so remote that we haven't forgotten midsummer bonfires and witches. On the other I find it really hard to sympathise with the idea of people of the 21st century burning a figure resembling a human being. It may be tradition, but I find it hard to understand why another generation teaches its children to burn witches, even though it is only in effigie.

But I like the bonfire itself!

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