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Midsummer in North Jutland

Photo: Turismeudvikling Hjørring

The heat from the bonfire, the songs, the view of the sun setting - all of this is part of a special day full of tradition. Sankt Hans as Midsummer's Eve is known in Denmark, is often spent on the beach with huge bonfires. 

Midsummer's Eve is celebrated on the 23rd of June, and like Christmas, this festive day is a remnant from old pagan customs. It is the celebration of the longest (summer) and shortest (winter) day of the year. Today Sankt Hans, as it is called in Denmark, is celebrated with huge bonfires on the beach, singing and the burning of a wooden figure, often depicting a witch. 

There is a wide selection of Sankt Hans events in North Jutland where it is possible to enjoy the evening with a fire and evening relaxation.

Bål i Rebild Bakker
Photo: Daniel Brandt Andersen

Why are we celebrating Sankt Hans?

Sankt Hans is a connection of many traditions. Jesus's dad, Johannes Døberen, reportedly had birthday on the 24th of June and because we in Denmark are celebrating holidays one evening before, we are celebrating Johannes' birthday on Sankt Hans. Also the name Johannes got shortened into Sankt Hans. Moreover, Sankt Hans will be celebrated on Midsummer's Eve which is the shortest night during the whole year. Old histories are telling that on this evening special forces are awaking to life. 

One of the other forces which can be found during the magical night were witches. That is why men and women were burn on the fire until 1693 if they were expected to be wizards. However, it was not until the 20th century that the tradition to manufacture a witch for the fire started.

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